You Can Now Order Cocktails for Delivery in CA (and Other Big News from the ABC)

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The Tomato Beef cocktail at the newly opened (and now temporarily closed) Viridian in Uptown Oakland. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Call it a booze miracle: California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control just lightened up on some regulations during this stay-at-home order, and I can assure you a number of SF Bay Area bartenders are about to launch some very clever beverage service, coming to a takeout window or delivery service ASAP.

There are a number of changes, but the big one is that restaurants that offer food service and have a Type 41 (beer and wine) or Type 47 (liquor) license can now prepare cocktails, snap a secure lid on, and sell it to you at their takeout window to go, or via a third-party delivery app. The hitch: you also have to order food.

Now, this doesn’t mean we’re like New Orleans and you can roam around with your Hurricane in the streets, and really, you should be at home. But wow, you can actually have a carafe of Margaritas delivered to your door with some guacamole and chips and that sounds like a good time to me.

Another big change: any Type 41 and 47 licensed businesses can now sell bottles to go. Many have license conditions that prohibit off-sale privileges, but those conditions have been lifted for the time being. So, if you want to sell your cellar of wine, special beers, a bottle of whisky, or your back bar of rare spirits, you can (depending upon which kind of license you have).

Sales can also go from 6am until 2am! (It just depends upon how early and late the business wants to stay open.)

There are definitely some finer points to all of this, and restaurants, double-check with your attorney before you launch your new Bloody Mary-to-go service (you are liable, not the delivery service), but this is about to help a bunch of places boost their takeout/delivery check average, sell off some inventory, and help take the edge off for a bunch of us at home.

I’ll be updating my Instagram Stories with who’s doing what.

Big thanks to my good buddy Tom Kerr of Strike Kerr & Johns for walking me through the new regs.