Statement by Distilled Spirits Council Vice President David Wojnar
“The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit during COVID-19. The opportunity for Pennsylvania’s restaurants to sell cocktails to-go will be a valuable economic lifeline during this pandemic. This critical revenue stream will help support struggling hospitality industry workers, while providing adult consumers with the convenience of enjoying their favorite restaurant’s specialty cocktail in the comfort of their home. We are grateful the legislature continues to seek out consumer-friendly solutions to expand access to distilled spirits and help alleviate some of the negative impacts of the statewide closures of all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores during COVID-19.”
The Senate passed the bill today by a vote of 48-0. It now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.
The bill allows for those holding valid restaurant or hotel liquor licenses that lost more than 25 percent of their average monthly total sales, including alcohol sales, as a result of restrictions imposed during COVID-19 to sell mixed drinks to-go in a sealed container no greater than 64 fluid ounces in a single transaction.
If the bill is signed into law, Pennsylvania will become the 33rd state plus the District of Columbia currently allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to deliver distilled spirits in some form. In addition, 12 states plus the District of Columbia are now permitting curbside pickup of distilled spirits from restaurants and/or bars.
Some states, including Texas, Florida and New Jersey, are considering extending these policies past COVID-19.