Sales of cocktails to go will continue in Oregon, even after the pandemic is over.
On Tuesday, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 317, which allows bars and restaurants to sell mixed drinks and single servings of wine in sealed containers for off-premises consumption. It makes permanent a law from December, which made to-go cocktails legal for as long as Oregon is under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restaurant industry lobbied the state for months to change laws prohibiting the sale of to-go cocktails, arguing that it would help keep their businesses afloat while unable to serve customers indoors.
“Cocktails to-go has been one of the many lifelines we have needed to help my business survive,” Palomar owner Ricky Gomez wrote in testimony supporting SB 317. “Over the past four months our online sales for pickup and delivery increased by 10x’s compared to previous months when it was not permitted. It has allowed us to cover many costs, including payroll and rent to minimize our losses during these difficult times.”
The bill now goes to Gov. Kate Brown to be signed into law.