In May of 2020, as businesses were trying to figure out how to continue operating and making money, restaurants in Rhode Island were given permission to sell to-go mixed drinks along with take-out food. The alcoholic beverages had to be in sealed containers, but it was a welcome way to boost much-needed profits for struggling restaurants. Take out beer and wine was also allowed.
At the time, then Governor Gina Raimondo said, “I know it’s not much, but it’s something that will tide you over a bit longer until we can get you to outdoor dining, and then indoor dining,”
Restaurants and patrons have responded favorably to the policy over the last few years, so a bill was introduced to allow the practice to continue.
Yesterday the Rhode Island General Assembly approved that bill making take-out drinks permanent and another bill that will continue to allow outdoor dining for one more year. The hope is that these measures will continue to help local bars and restaurants recover.
Both bills are headed to Governor Dan McKee's desk, and he says that he will sign them into law.