On May 10, Senate Bill 24-020, sponsored by Senators Dylan Roberts and Nick Hinrichsen and Representatives William Lindstedt and Rose Pugliese, which permanently legalizes the sale of alcohol for takeout and delivery from restaurants, was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis at Cactus Flower Restaurant in Pueblo, Colorado.

This bill authorizes a permanent policy shift for alcohol to-go, creating certainty for Colorado hospitality businesses, raises additional revenue for state and local governments and allows patrons to continue to enjoy this convenient approach to alcohol-beverage sales.

“Restaurants lost more than $3 billion in revenue during 2020 alone, and have struggled with inflationary pressures, labor shortages, and operational uncertainty ever since,” says Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association. “Alcohol to go from restaurants is a win-win; it’s extremely popular with the public and provides restaurants with a measure of confidence, knowing they can factor in this additional revenue stream as they make plans for the future. We’re delighted that alcohol to go is now permanent in Colorado.”

This decision follows in the footsteps of well over a dozen other states that have already made alcohol to-go a fixture since COVID measures were enacted in 2020.

Emillio Ortiz, partner and General Manager of 503W Open Kitchen + Craft Bar in Colorado Springs, explains that “during the pandemic to-go alcohol was a major contributing factor for getting us through,” and “was comforting for patrons knowing they could get wine, beer or to-go cocktails without having to leave their house while still supporting us at the same time.”

Among those plugged into the restaurant and bar scene, the continuation of this policy seems like a no-brainer, serving as a helpful add-on for businesses to properly rebound and even thrive during what continues to be a challenging economic period.

“There is no doubt that this can only be good for the on-premise hospitality industry,” says Ortiz. “In particular because of its promotion of increased revenue, competition and creativity. Plus, it gives us the ability to provide our patrons with more choices.”

Now that the legalities of this progressive shift are addressed, it properly allows businesses to streamline their to-go ordering and offers customers the warm and fuzzy feeling that there is a protocol intact to make takeout experiences just as rewarding and reputable as dining in.

“If it answers the question of convenience and quality, then we are in good shape,” says Ortiz. “To have a careless approach to it could really dissuade patrons. It should be about safety, quality and consistency.”

Our recommendation for a to-go cocktail at 503W is the Passion Fruit Margarita, served in a sealed, 8-oz glass bottle that accounts for two libations when poured into highball glasses with ice. Dehydrated lime garnishes are included. In addition, 503W sells a variety of their most popular in-house cocktails in the same convenient, pre-labeled format for maximum at-home enjoyment.

Header image courtesy of Stir Coffee & Cocktails