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New Washington law allows alcoholic beverages 'to-go' for 2 more years

Washington restaurants and bars can continue offering cocktails and other alcoholic beverages to-go through July 2023.

CAMAS, Wash. — For restaurants, offering to-go options has kept many of them afloat during the pandemic. That's included a new option this past year: offering alcoholic beverages to-go with food orders. Now a new law in Washington state will allow that to keep happening for two more years.

On April 14, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill which received bipartisan support, extending to-go liquor sales through July 1, 2023.

“It's a very long time, kind of shocking actually, in a good way,” said Todd Moravitz, who owns Nuestra Mesa in downtown Camas. “I think it's a wonderful opportunity.”

Moravitz said extending the alcohol to-go option is another opportunity to make up for lost revenue they experienced early in the pandemic. Industry experts suggest alcoholic beverages account for about a quarter of restaurant sales. Moravitz said while many customers enjoy returning to the restaurant in-person, several others are not yet able or willing to dine-out.

“There's definitely those who feel more comfortable gradually, incrementally getting back to it,” Moravitz said. “Having the ability to do to-go beverages is wonderful.”

Oregon made similar allowances for restaurants and bars to offer alcoholic beverages to-go during the pandemic. Right now they're set to expire 60 days after Gov. Kate Brown lifts Oregon's State of Emergency.

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