ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (WJZ) – Keep ordering those take out margaritas.
Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday signed a bill making take-out cocktails and alcohol delivery a more permanent convenience. Maryland is now one of 35 states allowing take-out cocktails as a Covid relief measure.
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âLast year I issued an emergency order to help ailing bars and restaurants, which allowed them to deliver and deliver alcohol,â Hogan said. “We are now signing a bill that will allow this to continue.”
It was supposed to be a temporary thing during Covid lockdowns to help local businesses, but now it will be allowed for at least two more years.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated hospitality businesses in Maryland, and it will take years for them to fully recover,” said Jay Hibbard, senior vice president of U.S. government relations at the Distilled Spirits Council . âTake-out cocktails have already proven to be a vital part of their survival during COVID-19 and will only provide increased stability in the future. Local restaurants, bars and taverns are in desperate need of a sustainable source of income, and take-out cocktails are a vital lifeline for these businesses. “
At Cindy Lou’s Fish House in Baltimore, if you can’t sit at the bar, you can grab your cocktails.
âI really think this is going to be a big help for us,â said manager Jimi Jefferson.
With the pandemic rocking the restaurant industry, Jefferson says takeout alcohol will continue to be a big boost.
âWe wanted to keep as much of our staff on board as much as possible, so being able to continue employing bartenders because we weren’t just boxing food and sending it to the door was a huge deal. for us, âJefferson mentioned.
Restaurants have been hit hard during the pandemic.
At Dry 85 in Annapolis, general manager Grace Canfield says the on-the-go cocktails helped them stay afloat.
âIn the beginning, it was really something that we had to do in order to be able to generate income. And at this point, it feels more like something we have to do, rather than something we have to do, âCanfield said.
As restrictions are lifted statewide, Canfield says drinking alcohol will give those who may not be comfortable leaving the perfect reason to stay.
âThe idea that someone can have a full Dry 85 experience from the comfort of their own home is very exciting for us,â said Canfield.
Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Montana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, and the District of Columbia all made take-out cocktails. of the permanent Covid era.