Over time? A month after the decision to allow restaurants and bars to sell sealed liquor bottles of groceries, the Washington Alcohol and Cannabis Board (LCB) has now legalized selling sealed mixed drinks for take-away and home delivery for the duration of the state’s ordering at home . Now all restaurants licensed for liquor, beer and wine can sell cocktails, provided they are served with a “full meal” (as defined here) and in certain types of sealed containers (not cheap styrofoam cups).
As early as March, the LCB relaxed some of its alcohol rules to allow restaurants with a proper license to sell closed, factory-sealed liquor bottles to take away or for delivery in addition to wine and beer. The lifting of such a restriction should help ensure that restaurants and bars in the area had to be closed for dine-in services during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, many spots in Seattle took the opportunity to add packaged cocktail kits to their take-away offerings that included instructions on how to mix a drink at home.
But restaurateurs and bartenders across the city are still calling for take-away cocktails to be legalized, considering other cities across the country did so during the crisis. Chris Cvetkovich of globally influenced Restaurant Nue told Eater Seattle that just selling bottles that people can get in grocery stores removes any “competitive advantage”. And the prestigious cocktail bar Canon had tweeted: “Please follow the lead from NY, CA and DC and help us!”
With Washington’s stay-at-home order expiring in late May, it is possible that this new rule could only stay in place for a few more weeks, though it must be argued that the law really should be permanent.
“This is a cornerstone and we’re going to expand our offering today,” says Cvetkovich. “At this point, anything we can sell without going back to normal is a definite help.”