SACRAMENTO – Amid the Omicron surge, Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation today to boost his previous relief for struggling restaurants and bars, expanding provisions of his 2021 law allowing the sale and delivery of to-go cocktails.
“After testing the waters last year, we find there is strong consumer demand for greater flexibility in the sale of take-out cocktails,” Sen. Dodd said. “Not only is it good for the consumer but it’s a lifeline for small, local businesses struggling to maintain payrolls and keep the doors open. In light of surging new variants, it’s clear both customers and restaurants need more choices to stay safe and get what they want.”
Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Sen. Dodd’s Senate Bill 389, which allowed the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages as part of take-out restaurant food orders. It came as restaurants nationwide recovered from hundreds of billions of dollars in losses sustained because of lockdowns and social distancing requirements to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The new bill, SB 846, expands the previous legislation in important ways, removing the meal requirement to increase options for consumers and business owners. It also extends the carry-out cocktail provision to bars, which also have been hard-hit by the pandemic. In addition, it allows for the delivery of to-go cocktails from both types of businesses. Finally, the bill increases oversight of alcohol delivery by Alcohol Beverage Control to prevent underage drinking.
Co-authors are Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda; Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco; Assemblymember Laura Friedman, D-Glendale and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella.
“Sen. Dodd’s leadership last year on legislation to allow neighborhood restaurants more channels to serve their guests offsite was a game-changer as the pandemic continued to rock restaurants,” said Matt Sutton, senior vice president of the California Restaurant Association. “As Omicron now limits restaurant operations once again — all over the state — this new proposal will assist restaurants in all communities and restore a set of choices consumers enjoyed in 2020 and 2021.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.