Distillery pubs, restaurants, and bars could catch another break.
On Wednesday, the Colorado House unanimously passed a bill to make to-go cocktails a permanent fixture on menus—well, at least for five years. Now, the bill will go to the State Senate for a vote. In response to the economic decline of restaurants due to the pandemic, Governor Jared Polis executive ordered the sale of to-go cocktails, but that is due to expire July 1, 2021.
This new bill, HB 21-2027, would make to-go alcohol available statewide for the next five years. According to the restaurant industry, it couldn't come soon enough. They are hoping for a quick approval vote from the senate. These alcohol sales have been crucial to the suffering restaurant industry due to the heavy restrictions on dining for the past year; in most cases, these to-go sales have been the one stream of revenue for restaurants to keep their doors open.
According to Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, "Alcohol to-go sales have been a crucial lifeline for Colorado restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the gravest crisis the restaurant industry has faced in living memory. Ninety-three percent of restaurant operators who responded to a recent survey told us they are deriving revenue from alcohol to-go orders."
Colorado is slowly opening back up for business and dining again, with the latest restriction lifted on April 21 to allow restaurants to operate at 100% capacity while still observing social distancing, and the last call. This is was a huge step forward to help the suffering Colorado restaurant scene, but only one of many steps to get them up on their feet again. With the help of bills being approved and a speedy manner and the loyal patronage amongst our great Colorado community, we'll keep our beloved pubs, restaurants, and bars open either in-person dining or at-home.
Do you prefer your cocktails in the bar or at home? Share in the comments your favorite go-to place for cocktails.