© 2024
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cocktails to go will soon become permanent in Virginia

FILE -In this Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, file photo, cocktails are photographed in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg
FILE -In this Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, file photo, cocktails are photographed in San Francisco.

Governor Glenn Youngkin is putting his signature on a bill legalizing cocktails to go.

The idea emerged during the pandemic – customers could help their favorite restaurants stay in business by ordering a margarita or an old fashioned as a takeout item.

Now, the governor is agreeing with lawmakers, allowing the temporary fix to become a permanent solution for restaurants.

"In Virginia's restaurants, we really have fostered a culture of mixology and experimentation and sort of high-level bartending," says Tommy Herbert at the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association. "And I would recommend for all of the listeners to try something new from one of our great restaurants here in the Commonwealth. You might be very impressed with the mixology skills that you encounter."

The bill, which will become a new law this summer, allows restaurants to sell cocktails to go, although the jury is still out on third-party vendors like DoorDash and Uber Eats. Here's Delegate Holly Seibold, a Democrat from Vienna.

"So, I keep hearing that we’re working to become compliant, but what is the plan? Because I just have a hard time visualizing that we can regulate a delivery service of alcohol," Seibold says.

The new law will allow DoorDash and Uber Eats to deliver cocktails for two years, although lawmakers say if there are problems, they're willing to pull the plug for third-party vendors.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.