NEWARK, CA – Do you have a favorite mixologist who doesn’t make house calls? Don’t worry, to-go will be a thing even after California reopens later this month.

“NEW: The pandemic may go away … but your take-away cocktails don’t have to! CA will now allow to-go cocktails and extensions to stay outdoors after we fully reopen on June 15,” said Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted on Thursday.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Newsom’s move would be temporary or permanent, but he wasn’t the first lawmaker to consider it. To help California restaurants amid the pandemic, Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) introduced SB-389 in February. If passed, the legislation would make the sale of to-go cocktails, currently approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, permanent. Under Dodd legislation, alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be sold unless accompanied by food. And the proposal requires ABC to take adequate safety precautions to ensure that alcohol is not sold to minors.

Dodd made a statement Thursday in response to Newsom’s messages.

“I thank the governor for his leadership in helping restaurant recovery,” said Dodd. “They have been devastated by the pandemic and this action will immediately help these small businesses and the workers they employ. My own legislation will make takeaway cocktail services permanent and provide consumers with long-term relief and choice.”

What about California’s open container laws? The tricky transportation of to-go drinks is also addressed in Dodd’s proposal. The beverages must be in pre-packaged containers by the manufacturer or “packaged in a container with a secure lid or cap that is sealed to prevent consumption by breaking the seal without removing the lid or cap,” says the text the bill.

Dodd’s legislation was passed by the state Senate in May, but the convention has not yet weighed.
To bolster support for his bill, Dodd cited a survey by the National Restaurant Association earlier this year that found that 78 percent of restaurant owners who started selling take-away alcohol had reinstated laid-off employees, compared with 62 percent a total of.

California is slated to scrap its color-coded blueprint for a safer economy and reopen the state on June 15.

As of Monday morning, 32,411 people in Newark had received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, with 25,663 people fully vaccinated.

– Written by Toni McAllister / Patch with additional coverage by Bea Karnes