No more being forced to play bartender at home: On Monday afternoon, Governor Baker passed a bill that allows Massachusetts bars and restaurants to sell cocktails to go.
Bill S.2812, also known as “An act to expand take-out/delivery options in response to COVID-19,” permits eligible restaurants and bars with liquor licenses to sell mixed drinks with the purchase of food, and is in effect until the state of emergency lifts. Drinks must be packaged in sealed containers, and customers can purchase up to two drinks, or 64 ounces in total. If the drink is being transported via car, the cocktails must be placed in the trunk or in a non-passenger area of the vehicle.
“With the governor’s signature, Massachusetts now joins 30 other states and D.C. in allowing cocktails to-go to support hospitality businesses,” said Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits Council vice president of state government relations. “Local businesses have been severely impacted by COVID-19, and cocktails to-go provide an economic lifeline as they work to recover. We applaud Governor Baker for signing cocktails to-go into law and for supporting Massachusetts businesses.”
The bill passed the House unanimously on June 3, but then sat in the Senate for weeks until landing on the Governor’s desk on July 16. Now that it’s signed, the bill goes into effect immediately.
State Senator Diana DiZoglio tweeted her approval:
— Diana DiZoglio (@DianaDiZoglio) July 20, 2020
Josh Weinstein, owner of The Quiet Few in East Boston and a major proponent of the bill, told Boston.com on Monday that he was incredibly excited about the news.
“I’m really stoked that finally came through and really excited — not only for the extra generated revenue that’ll help save the industry, but also for the opportunity for guests and bartenders alike to feel whole and normal again,” he said.
Weinstein said that The Quiet Few will have frozen margaritas and frozen negronis ready to sell starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, and that he’ll definitely be “laying heavy on our classics: negronis, boulevardier, and Manhattans.”