Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board ends to-go alcohol sales at bars, restaurants

That policy was allowed to lapse on Tuesday, September 15.

Posted: Sep 16, 2020 11:52 PM

As bars and restaurants continue to recover financially from the impacts of the pandemic, one of the tools added back in the spring has been retired.

Back on March 18, the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Board created an emergency rule to allow for the sale of unopened containers of alcohol. That policy was allowed to lapse on Tuesday, September 15.

A bartender at Rosie's Mexican Cantina mixes a margarita for a customer. The Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board ended its policy of allowing restaurants and bars to sell to-go alcohol. A bartender at Rosie's Mexican Cantina mixes a margarita for a customer. The Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board ended its policy of allowing restaurants and bars to sell to-go alcohol.

Tod Craig, the acting general manager for Rosie’s Mexican Cantina on University Drive, said when the policy was enacted back in March, it provided some much needed income for the restaurant.

“It was a great impact. We really appreciate the state for doing that because it really helped with curbside. It kind of made a one-stop-shop with our guests,” Craig said.

The original rule was created to last 120 days. Because of its popularity and impact, the ABC Board voted to extend the rule until September 15.

However, as the summer went on and more people became increasingly comfortable with going out to restaurants and bars, the demand for bottles to-go from non-ABC stores started to decline.

“As summer went along, and things started to open back up, the board realized that there weren't as many people taking advantage of that,” said Daniel Dye, a spokesperson for the ABC board.

During the height of their sales, Craig said Rosie’s was selling between 30-40 margarita kits per day during the week and sometimes around 80 on the weekends.

Toward the end of the policy, he said they were only selling about two or three kits each week.

“Even through the course of our dining rooms being open, it's starting to get busier and busier. So more people are feeling more comfortable about getting out. And so that, I think, has caused a drop off of the backdoor sales and the alcohol,” Craig said.

Dean Argo, the Manager of Government Relations & Communications for the ABC Board, said right now “there are no plans to extend the emergency rule a second time.”

“ABC Licensees we’re informed of the emergency rule and of the date of termination by email when the emergency rule was first adopted and a second time in July when it was extended.”

Craig said that despite the smaller numbers of to-go alcohol sales, he still hopes that the board will vote to renew policy. The ABC Board is scheduled to hold its next regular meeting on September 24.

The policy isn’t a part of the agenda, but Dye said there’s a good chance they will address both the to-go sale rule as well as the restriction on alcohol sales after 11 p.m.

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Confirmed Cases: 159439

Reported Deaths: 2699
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23443377
Mobile16934315
Tuscaloosa10414140
Montgomery10298197
Madison939496
Shelby743663
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Lee655065
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Limestone289330
Walker282392
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Jackson217515
Autauga207431
Franklin206131
Colbert204132
Russell19533
Blount194225
Chilton189332
Dallas187227
Coffee179511
Dale177251
Covington175529
Escambia173030
Clarke135317
Chambers135244
Pike134413
Tallapoosa133087
Marion109729
Barbour10339
Marengo102522
Butler101340
Winston93713
Geneva9167
Lawrence86132
Pickens86018
Bibb84314
Randolph82916
Hale77730
Clay74912
Washington74912
Cherokee74514
Henry7196
Lowndes71428
Bullock64917
Monroe64810
Crenshaw60930
Perry5936
Fayette58413
Cleburne5738
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56113
Macon53720
Lamar5065
Sumter47321
Choctaw39212
Greene34616
Coosa2053
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 249866

Reported Deaths: 3163
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby36685565
Davidson31975343
Knox1284891
Rutherford12017115
Hamilton11867109
Williamson718756
Sumner6184112
Wilson473159
Putnam445657
Montgomery424057
Out of TN415136
Sullivan381946
Madison381479
Bradley361923
Washington356951
Maury338938
Blount337436
Sevier336423
Robertson262842
Hamblen247548
Tipton238123
Unassigned22615
Dyer224732
Gibson217244
Coffee192325
Hardeman190533
Greene181252
Obion179522
Trousdale17768
Bedford174520
Dickson170719
Fayette169825
Anderson169713
McMinn165937
Lawrence164520
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Wayne16047
Carter158334
Weakley157326
Jefferson156421
Monroe147228
Warren144910
Lauderdale144117
Henderson142126
Hardin140420
Macon134825
Roane13217
Franklin130220
Haywood129728
Overton122917
Hawkins122625
White119414
Johnson11577
Marshall115710
Carroll115326
McNairy113427
Rhea112418
Cocke108014
Cheatham106911
Campbell103512
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Smith99413
Lake9873
Giles98336
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Lincoln9173
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Henry80211
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