I’m Devastated That To Go Cocktails Are No Longer Allowed in Pa.
One of the few pandemic blessings is over, and I am absolutely devastated:
To go cocktails are no longer allowed in the state of Pennsylvania (effective immediately), multiple outlets including Inquirer.com and NBC 10 are reporting. In addition, all policies which allowed outdoor dining to expand must cease.
The state began allowing bars and restaurants to serve drinks and cocktails to go last May to help the struggling industry during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have spent hours (and too much money) outside with friends drinking in Center City Philadelphia's Camac Street (and, really, throughout the city of Philadelphia). Being able to walk up to a bar to grab a vodka soda to go has been REALLY nice. Especially recently -- as we've all gotten vaccinated -- it's felt safe to drink outside and enjoy a nice night out with friends.
Bar owners and restaurants say they were surprised when the news broke yesterday. They apparently received an email from the state's Liquor Control Board to be informed of the news.
“Essentially, if you are a licensed restaurant or a tavern with an ‘R’ or an ‘H’ license, you are no longer allowed to sell cocktails to go. Also, that temporary outdoor seating that you were permitted you just lost that as well,” they said in the note, CBS 3 reports.
So why is it ending? Apparently, the original measure allowing these drinks expired when the state lifted the COVID-19 emergency powers, 6 ABC says.
But there's some hope that to go drinks COULD make a comeback. A bill is working its way through the Pennsylvania legislature that would allow bars and restaurants to serve alcoholic drinks to go.
But it's stalled a bit because of some politics: they're trying to add some amendments to that bill, CBS3 reports.
So given all of this: will this be enforced? I certainly hope not, but I am worried that I won't be grabbing a margarita from the to go window at El Vez or a Vodka Soda from UBar.
Come on, PA! Let's pass this legislation.