Washington, DC may permanently allow restaurants, bars to serve to-go alcohol

To-go alcohol might not be going anywhere.

When bars and restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms due to the coronavirus pandemic, several states and cities adjusted the rules to allow these businesses to sell alcoholic drinks to go, or for delivery. And as it turns out, the concept of being able to order alcohol directly to your house is a somewhat popular idea.

In fact, it’s possible that in Washington, DC, this change becomes permanent.

A provision included in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s latest proposed budget would permanently allow for these deliveries, Fox 5 DC reports. This move is designed to help businesses that have been hit hard by the lockdown, according to officials.

“These businesses, in order for them to have a lifeline, they’ve got to kind of pivot and adapt and find new ways to bring in revenue,” John Falcicchio, acting deputy mayor for planning and economic development, told the outlet. “So this is just one way they can do that.”

A bartender sells whisky and cocktails outside of a bar in Washington, DC.
A bartender sells whisky and cocktails outside of a bar in Washington, DC.Getty Images

“We know our businesses are really stressed about how they’re going to recover and so one of the aspects of their recovery is how they operate in a new normal,” he continued.

The provision is scheduled to be reviewed by the DC Council next month. According to Falcicchio, 775 businesses have already been approved to take part in the program.

The owner of one local DC establishment, Beuchert’s Saloon on Capitol Hill, spoke with Fox 5 about the possible provision, saying that during the pandemic the restaurant saw a drop in sales of about 50 percent. Without alcohol to go, he believes the drop could have been much bigger.

“It’s a great way to help us survive and help us pivot into this new unknown territory about what restaurants are going to look like and what we’re going to continue moving forward,” said Beuchert’s owner Andrew Markert.