Reopening California

Bars, Wineries Without Kitchens Now Allowed to Serve Alcoholic Drinks To Go

The change comes just in time for the holiday weekend.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries in California that do not have their own kitchens, but partner with meal providers can now sell alcoholic beverages to go, so long as they are sold with a meal and served in a sealed container, state officials announced.

The announcement by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was the agency's fifth adjustment to lockdown orders put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including authorizing take-out dining and alcoholic beverages to-go for more than 45,000 restaurants.

The move came about after the department received numerous requests from businesses that do not operate kitchen facilities to extend its rule allowing the sale of to-go alcoholic drinks with meals prepared on-site at bars and restaurants, according to ABC spokesman John Carr.

"We know businesses have suffered as they continue fighting to slow the spread of COVID-19," ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith said. "We have heard directly from these businesses that the notices of regulatory relief can give them a boost and help bring more people back to work."

On May 15, the department authorized thousands of licensees to use parking lots, patios or sidewalks to help fight coronavirus by spreading out patrons and providing more areas for physical distancing, Carr said.

Additionally, ABC is temporarily allowing:

  • virtual wine tasting to help California's 6,300 wineries;
  • free delivery of alcohol to consumers;
  • extended alcoholic beverage delivery hours;
  • extended credit transactions beyond 30 days;
  • alcohol transactions through passout windows or slide out trays;
  • distilleries to make hand sanitizers and disinfectants so long as
    they are cleared through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Copyright CNS - City News Service
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