PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE 28 /WYOU 22 – EYEWITNESS NEWS) – COVID-19 changed a lot of things, including making cocktails-to-go legal here in Pennsylvania. Now, state legislators face the question, should we make it legal permanently?
The bar scene is back here in northeastern Pennsylvania. Thursday, the state legislature voted to end Governor Wolf’s emergency declaration, which puts an end to selling cocktails-to-go.
A bill passed by the state house of representatives aims to make selling mixed drinks to go legal here in the commonwealth to continue helping restaurants and bars recover from the pandemic. That bill is widely supported by those in the bar industry.
“You know, the temporary bill was really a lifesaver. It was used to keep people’s heads above the water just a little longer,” says PA License Beverage and Tavern Association Executive Director Chuck Moran.
Kim Krupovich, a bartender at Plains Pub, is also a proponent of the bill, “It helped in our profits; it really did. We tried everything we could do because we lost the indoor dining and everything. This really helped us in the long run.”
There are still safety restrictions. The container needs to be sealed, so people can open it at home rather than drink and drive. Local bartenders say, in a weird way, this is one innovative breakthrough that came out of the pandemic.
“It did help. We lost a lot of alcohol sales. This did help us out, help us pay our bills, pay employees, keep us afloat. I think it’d be a great thing if we could keep it going. I get the back and forth, but I think it will benefit everyone in the long run. We’re not out of this yet,” Krupovich said.
Now, the bill still needs to be passed by the state senate, but there is hope in sight that cocktails to go could becoming permenantly legal here in pennsylvania.