Arizona makes to-go cocktails permanent

Arizona makes to-go cocktails permanent

May 31, 2021 0 By Elizabeth Troutman

Another perk of the COVID-19 pandemic has become permanent.

Gov. Ducey signed HB 2773, allowing restaurants to permanently serve cocktails to-go.

The bill codifies Gov. Ducey’s Executive Order from March 2020, restricting the enforcement of laws regulating the sale and delivery of alcoholic beverages. The order prompted bars that pay additional charges for liquor licenses to go to court to stop restaurants from sharing their business. In November, the bars won a court order saying Ducey’s Executive Order overstepped, and Arizona legislators worked for months to compose a bill that benefited all parties.

HB 2773 permanently allows restaurants to purchase an additional permit to deliver drinks to patrons with their to-go orders.

Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler, sponsored the bill. Arizona is joining 20 other U.S states who offer cocktails to-go.

“Businesses of our food and beverage industry have made clear the benefits of offering to-go beverages, and they’ve shown it can be done responsibly,” Ducey tweeted.

Weninger said that he was glad to see grocery stores, bars, and restaurants compromising to pass this bill.

“House Bill 2773 will help bars, liquor stores and restaurants grow, and it will attract new businesses to our state,” he said.

The bill will enable about 3,000 restaurants to obtain permits to sell cocktails to-go. The restaurants will have to pay an administrative fee by state liquor regulators and another fee to go towards a fund to compensate bar and grocery store owners for another five years.

Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, expressed his support of the bill in a statement.

“Restaurants, bars and liquor stores throughout the state will have the opportunity to drastically expand their operations thanks to the signing of House Bill 2773.”

Ducey praised business owners in a statement for offering to-go beverages “responsibly and safely” during the pandemic.

“House Bill 2773 will make sure restaurants and bars have the opportunity to expand operations and meet the needs of their customers, especially after weathering the effects of the pandemic,”  Ducey said.

This article was originally posted on Arizona makes to-go cocktails permanent