BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — While many businesses scrambled during the pandemic the restaurant industry was left devastated, forcing many eateries to close down.
One service that helped some restaurants stay afloat was to go cocktails. The service became so popular that many rallied to keep it permanent.
On October 8, 2021, Governor Newsom signed senate bill 389 into law allowing certain restaurants and breweries to sell distilled spirits in sealed containers like beer and wine bottles, but it also allows for the sale of single-serve wine and distilled spirits that are not in manufactured sealed containers like cocktails.
Senate bill 389 is going to help local restaurants make some extra sales.
Wiki's Wine Dive & Grill owner Mike Earhart said that there were many roadblocks during the pandemic for restaurants but selling to go cocktails helped his business flourish.
“You know every little bit helps and this could help quite a bit,” said Earhart.
Earhart said that his restaurant faced many obstacles during the pandemic.
“We had so many challenges everything from employees, we care for the employees but at the same time you need employees to work and the various different aspects we had whether it’s to go or dine in it was really a challenge,” said Earhart.
He said with the cost rising he is grateful that this bill was passed add the bill layout here.
“At first, I was surprised that the state would do it, but they realize it’s a great idea. Why not, it makes sense. To know that we have that extra revenue it’s an incredible thing,” said Earhart.
Earhart said you can already purchase pre-made cocktails at grocery stores but with this bill, in place, you can get your cocktails freshly made while supporting local businesses
Unlike the first emergency order, this bill contains key differences
1. The alcohol order may only be sold in conjunction with a meal.
2. It must be picked up at the premise by the consumer who ordered it.
3. Proper identification must be provided
4. The alcoholic beverage must be packaged in a container that has a secure lid or cap
This bill will go into effect on January 1 2022 and stay in effect until 2027.
Still, Earhart said to go cocktails didn't come without some struggle.
“Getting to go containers wasn’t bad it's continuing to get them like everything else they ran out. They switched over and then you know next thing you hear is out of stock and every day you had to go shopping,” said Earhart.
Earhart said for those worried about the quality of the to-go cocktails that they take pride in everything they serve plus there’s one added bonus
“I will say our to-go cocktails are a little bit bigger than the regular cocktails,” said Earhart.