With restaurants in Virginia now relying on take-out and delivery for their survival through the pandemic, Alexandria is joining other localities in urging the state government to allow restaurants to make cocktails to-go.
“I am writing to express support to authorize the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to allow the selling of mixed beverages for delivery and pickup by restaurants in the City of Alexandria and across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam.
Two weeks ago, the state did loosen up on its restrictions regarding selling beer and wine to-go.
Wilson said in the letter that alcohol sales in take-out and delivery options could help offset other revenue losses — at least a little. Alexandria’s bar and restaurant scene has already seen closures as a result of the statewide restrictions.
“Alexandria restaurant owners have indicated that the sale of mixed beverages provides healthy margins that keep them afloat during this time,” Wilson said. “They believe that the ability to offer these beverages for delivery and pickup as part of the new limitations on restaurants is vital to their ability to remain in business in the current environment.”
The City has been working with @VirginiaABC to make it easier to sell beer and wine to support our restaurants.
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) March 31, 2020
The letter is in support of a request by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney to the Virginia ABC. The letter was shared by other members of the City Council who echoed the mayor’s sentiment.
California, Kentucky, Colorado, Vermont and Nebraska have similarly loosened restrictions on mixed beverages.
“In states that have loosened restrictions on mixed beverages, these new provisions have promoted a sense of normalcy to their clientele, have increased sales and allowed some staff to continue working,” Wilson said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has required all of us in the Commonwealth and the nation to think innovatively in order to assist those who need the most. Small businesses and their personnel are no exception.”
Photo via Dave B/Flickr