To-go Cocktail Bill Signed by Baker

Last week, the owner of The Quiet Few on Sumner Street, Josh Weinstein, watched a liquor delivery to the liquor store across the street from his bar.

Weinstein, who opened his bar last year, was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recently reopened with limited capacity and outdoor seating.

“That looks like a really big order being delivered to the liquor store across the street. Must be nice,” Weinstein lamented. “We used to have orders that looked like that. But we can’t order like that because we can’t sell in any profitable volume.”

In the past few months Weinstein has emerged as one of the most vocal proponents of the state legislature’s ‘to-go cocktail’ bill.

The bill is designed to allow bars like Weinstein’s The Quiet Few to start moving inventory of expensive liquor that has been sitting on shelves since the pandemic began.

The bill, which sat on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk since last week, was finally signed by the Governor Monday.

The bill, which was passed by the House back in June and the Senate last week, will let bars and restaurants sell to-go cocktails with takeout only or delivery food orders until Gov. Baker lifts the state emergency order that was given back in March.

Customers of bars in restaurants in Eastie can now order two cocktails per entree. However, the total volume of liquor being sold can not exceed 64 ounces.

All cocktails must be sold in a sealed container, and the volume of alcohol-to-mixer must be the same as for on-premises consumption.

State Sen. Diana Dizoglio, a Methuen Democrat that filed the bill, said, “While many mom and pop establishments have been able to slowly reopen in recent weeks, they still face significant challenges in their efforts to retain employees and pay their bills. According to our local, family owned and operated restaurants, these measures could help them generate thousands of dollars a month and would greatly assist them in paying utility bills and rent. I am grateful to my colleagues in the legislature for their support and continued advocacy on the issue and to Governor Baker for signing it into law.”

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