Restaurants, which were allowed to stay open for delivery and curbside pickup, got creative and many came up with their own alcohol kits they could sell to customers. From carry-out margaritas to Moscow mules, the sales of alcohol kits helped restaurants boost their sales during the months of quarantine.
The sale of alcohol by restaurants was possible due to Gov. Jared Polis's 30-day order signed in March. Since then, the executive order has been extended three times, now effective through June.
However, the to-go sales might continue thanks to a group of bipartisan lawmakers working on a proposal. Sen. Jeff Bridges and Sen. Kevin Priola introduced legislation this week that would permit restaurants and bars to sell take-out alcoholic beverages until July 2020.
The legislation by Priola and Bridges aims to help restaurants and bars which have been struggling to stay open during the pandemic. In an article by The Colorado Sun, Bridges expressed concern for the future of restaurants and bars in Colorado.
"Some Colorado institutions are closing their doors, and if we can help them get through the next couple of years, that's something we owe the people of the state and that's something we owe the people who have invested their lives in those companies," he said.
The Colorado Restaurant Association, which helped co-write the bill, stated that 87 percent of their members have made money off alcohol sales during the lockdown. According to a survey by the association, 85 percent of Coloradans want their favorite restaurants to continue the sale of to-go cocktails.
The proposal states bartenders and restaurant staff would need additional training and certification to serve to-go drinks. Anyone ordering or receiving the cocktails to-go would need proof that they are at least 21 years old. It also limits the restaurants' revenue in cocktails to-go sales, not allowing more than 50 percent revenue from takeaway sales, as well as the amount of alcohol purchased in a single order.
Bridges expects it will be a difficult bill to pass given how highly regulated and lobbied laws can be surrounding alcohol sales.
Whether the bill passes or not, to-go sales of alcoholic beverages will end when the executive order expires in June, unless it gets extended, again.