New bill hopes to make to-go cocktails permanently legal in California

They've been legal since last March.
Cocktails to go
Cocktails to go Photo credit Victor J. Blue / Stringer

California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control eased its alcohol restrictions last March to allow bars and restaurants to sell alcohol to-go, as long as it was ordered with food.

Now, a California state senator wants to make that permanently legal.

Napa's Bill Dodd introduced SB-389 as a way to help small businesses in the state thrive post-pandemic and even the playing the field with liquor and grocery stores.

He introduced his bill the same week that San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener introduced one that would make alcohol sales on California streets and sidewalks permanent.

Delivery and to-go orders are expected to remain key for restaurants and bars to survive in the coming years, and Dodd's bill would help keep them going.

However, it would potentially leave out dive bars and cocktail bars that don't have kitchens, as the legislation specifies that alcohol must be “sold in conjunction with meals prepared for pickup or delivery either by the licensee or by a meal provider.”