KENTUCKY (FOX19) - Kentucky lawmakers advanced a bill this week allowing to-go alcohol sales to become a permanent fixture.
The bill is aimed to help out restaurants that have experienced loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bill Whitlow, Owner of Rich’s Proper Food & Drink, says running a business in the midst of a pandemic has been incredibly difficult.
“Our business model here was to capitalize on after concerts, after weddings things like that, which is obviously not happening right now,” said Whitlow.
When Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order allowing alcohol to-go sales, things started looking up.
“It’s been a bit of a boom for us. It’s definitely opened up some new opportunities and some new pathways for us to serve our guests,” said Whitlow. “We’ve been doing bourbon tasting, people will come get food and a pre-packaged bourbon tasting, and then we’ll get on zoom and have a whole tasting with them at their house with us doing it here.”
Now, the Senate-passed measure would make that accommodation permanent.
Under the measure, the to-go alcohol order would be allowed as long as it is purchased with a prepared meal.
Annabelle Hussey, General Manager at Amerasia, says making to-go alcohol sales a year-round thing helps both the business and customer.
“Well, I think it’s great. It’s helped a lot during the pandemic in the sense that now we have a new revenue stream, but permanently I think it’s a great idea,” said Hussey. “People are always wanting convenience, especially right now not having to leave the house.”
Hussey says Amerasia hasn’t had in-person dining in over a year.
They just started back up by allowing brunch once a week with very small groups.
Being able to sell drinks to-go has allowed Amerasia to keep the money flow coming in, Hussey said.
The Senate passed the legislation on a 28-7 vote, and the bill now heads it to the House. If it does get passed, the bill would not allow alcohol sales in bulk quantities, and of course, would prohibit deliveries to people under 21.
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