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Connecticut Restaurants Approved to Sell Alcohol with Food for Off-Premise

On Thursday, March 18, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection issued an implementation order for Gov. Ned Lamont’s Executive Order 7G, which clarifies limits for specific permit types, notably restaurants, enabling them to to sell sealed alcohol containers “as it was received from the wholesalers” for off-premise consumption as long as patrons are purchasing food, beginning noon on Friday, March 20.

On-premise venues were limited to only take-out or delivery to help slow the spread of coronavirus on March 16. The industry reeled with uncertainty,  with the Connecticut Restaurant Association working to advocate measures of mitigation.

“This week has been very difficult for all of Connecticut, particularly the restaurant and hospitality industry. We appreciate the Governor and lawmakers who continue to work with us to try to lessen the burden. This change to allow alcohol sales with take-out food is a signal to our industry that they are being heard. We will continue to advocate for all restaurants in our state, to address the needs of our industry and small business as a whole,” said Scott Dolch, Executive Director, Connecticut Restaurant Association.

The order permits any business with an active restaurant, café or tavern liquor permit issued by the Department of Consumer Protection to sell sealed containers of alcoholic liquor for pick up at such restaurant, café or tavern under the following conditions:

  • The sale shall accompany a pick-up order of food prepared on the premises.
  • The type of alcoholic liquor sold for off-premise consumption shall be the same as what the permit type would have permitted for on-premise consumption prior to Executive Order 7D.
  • The hours of such sales that include alcoholic liquor as part of the take-out order shall be the same as those for a package store.
  • Delivery of alcoholic liquor by licensees with these permit types is not permitted.
  • Businesses with manufacturing permits, such as craft breweries and similar establishments, may sell alcohol for off-premise consumption according to the existing terms of their permits.

Unless otherwise noted, the prohibition on deliveries by the permittees addressed in this order remains unchanged. For all pick-up orders that include alcoholic liquor, the person picking up the order must be of legal drinking age and cannot be intoxicated.

Additional notes include:

  • Such locations may only sell sealed containers of alcoholic liquor consistent with the alcohol types that they are currently permitted to sell on-premise based on their permit type, and only if it is part of a take-out order that is being picked up by the customer that includes the pick-up of food prepared on the premises.
  • Such locations may only be open for customers to order, pick up orders of food, nonalcoholic beverages, and sealed containers of alcoholic liquor as received by the wholesaler.
  • There is no on-premise consumption of alcoholic liquor allowed on the permit premises and on the grounds of the permit premises.
  • Curbside pick-up adjacent to the permit premises is allowed, if there is no municipal ordinance to the contrary.
  • The hours of such sales that include alcoholic liquor as part of the take-out order, are the same as a package store.

The full order addresses all permit types in broader context to non-retail, off-premise sales.

 

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