Tennessee Expands To-Go Alcohol Sales To Restaurants For Now

NASHVILE, Tennessee (WTVF) – There’s good news if you’ve been enjoying take-out alcohol during the pandemic. A new state law just came into effect on July 1, allowing this to continue on a trial basis for the next two years.

Krystal Steigler says that if there had been no alcohol to take away during the lockdown, 12 South Taproom may have been forced to pull out. “At the height of the pandemic, it really pushed us through,” Steigler said.

Michael Redd / WTVF

Customer talks to Krysta Steigler at 12 South Taproom in Nashville

As part of COVID-19 relief, the state allowed licensed restaurants to temporarily sell take-out alcohol. This decision was so popular that the Tennessee General Assembly passed a new law that extends the probationary period, but there are rules.

“So we want to have identifiers for every cocktail purchased,” Steigler said.

Beer and wine can be purchased on their own, but cocktails are limited to the number of legal identification presented to the bartender and must be purchased with food. “But if you drink alcohol you have to buy food, which is also good for us,” she said.

Servers should also remind customers that these take-out drinks cannot be used on the go. Only at home or in your hotel room. “By telling them no, we are not an open container state,” Steigler said.

Now that capacity restrictions are a thing of the past, Krysta says take-out alcohol is a boom for even more companies. “Especially when we’re filling up on Friday night, we’re waiting, we can’t necessarily take everyone who wants to come in. So if we’re able to make them a few drinks, fill a growler, send them some food to. taking out is more money in the company’s pocket, more money in our pocket, it’s good for everyone, ”she said.

When it comes to paying for drinks, it’s not just restaurants that will benefit. The state taxes these drinks as well, so the state predicts it could bring in over $ 4.7 million in the first year alone.

But the law may not last. It is due to expire on July 1, 2023, and some lawmakers are pledging to repeal it sooner if alcohol-related offenses increase. “I could definitely see this was becoming a problem downtown, but in this neighborhood I think it was a really positive thing,” Steigler said.

Looking at just last month 12 South Taproom set an all-time sales record, they hope they can keep typing and cashing. .

Supporters of the law hope to make it permanent after that two-year window expires.

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