To-go cocktails permanently legal, with 2 big changes, in Ohio now after Gov. Mike DeWine signs HB 669

Unlike the temporary provision where the limit was two drinks, there is now a three drink limit on cocktails that may be sold per meal.

To-go cocktails permanently legal, in Ohio now after Gov. Mike DeWine signs bill

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Mid-pandemic in April, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine allowed restaurants to sell to-go alcoholic beverages and today the decision became permanent with a few changes, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Unlike the temporary provision where the limit was two drinks, there is now a three drink limit per meal.

The new law also allows third parties to deliver alcohol--so companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash may deliver alcoholic beverages to your door with food.

The law is effective immediately.

The concept, which was already legal in 30 states pre-Covid-19, was offered in Ohio to help businesses stay afloat.

House Bill 669 was already passed by the Ohio House and Senate this summer.

Adding up to eight pre-made cocktails to that order could provide $2,000 more a night potentially, Eric Scott, bartender at Thyme X Table in Bay Village, previously said.

“With something that’s put together with a staff of three or four, that’s significant,” he added.

The Hospitality Recovery Coalition, an initiative led by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) in partnership with the American Distilled Spirits Alliance (ADSA), the Council of State Restaurant Associations (CSRA), the National Restaurant Association and TIPs, sent a letter applauding DeWine for signing HB 669.

“During these unprecedented times, [Governor DeWine has] listened to the plight of Ohio’s restaurants and bars as they struggled to cope with the challenges posed by COVID-19,” the Hospitality Recovery Coalition letter reads. “Cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling on-premise locations and prevented the permanent closure of many of these businesses. Now that this measure is permanent, hospitality businesses have increased stability despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.”

In June, Iowa was the first state to make cocktails to-go permanent since the pandemic.

Other states, including Texas, Florida and Oklahoma, as well as the District of Columbia, are considering making to-go cocktails permanent.

“Fortunately, cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling on-premise locations and prevented the permanent closure of many of these businesses. Now that this measure is permanent, hospitality businesses have increased stability despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic,” stated a thank you letter sent to DeWine from the Hospitality Recovery Coalition.

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