To-go cocktails could be sticking around.
A bill that allows Delaware restaurants to continue to-go alcohol sales with take-out food orders and continue outdoor dining as they face restrictions with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic clears the House in a unanimous vote. Wilmington-area state Rep. Stephanie Bolden (D) was absent during Wednesday's vote.
House Bill 1 allows extended outdoor seating and to-go drinks until at least March of 2022.
Restaurants have been hard-hit by the pandemic, seeing $700 million in losses between March and July. In April of last year alone, restaurants lost $160 million in sales.
“Restaurants and bars have been among the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic. It’s only through their own ingenuity and creativity, and assistance we have been able to lend them that has kept many businesses afloat,” said Rep. Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach) in a prepared statement. “The outdoor dining and to-go cocktails options have been extremely popular and have allowed restaurants and bars to serve patrons safely. These innovations are about to expire, but we are not on the other side of this crisis yet. This bill will give the hospitality industry another year of flexibility to keep their doors open.”
The measure, which now heads to the state Senate, is aimed at allowing people to patronize their favorite bars and restaurants without risking their safety.