DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Governor Wolf has a cocktails to go bill on his desk that hopes to allow local restaurants to sell curbside mixed drinks and give them a source of income to survive the lockdown. But there’s a lot of concern about the idea, particularly when it comes to safety.
“Our revenue is down, I want to say 70 percent,” Fireside Martini Grill partner Jimmy Reese said.
An unfortunate trend for many bars and restaurants across the region. Places like Fireside Martini Grill in Dunmore chomping at the bit to offer just a little more with takeout meals. Anyone over the age of 21 can put in an order at the state liquor store and mix it with Coca-Cola.
“What we want to do is offer to our customers something that is really a pain in the neck to make at the house,” Reese said.
Frozen margaritas, fruity mixes, special recipes that take a professional hand. Not only would it be a boost to sales, but it would get some people back to work.
“Right now we’ve got four part-time bartenders who are dying to do something and make some money,” Reese said.
And while Reese says it’ll be a boost for business, it’s not for everyone. Brian Mills owns Chestnut Street Tavern across the street and it’s not as tempting.
“I’m really a shot and a beer place. That’s what my bar is, a little corner bar in Dunmore and we do beers and shots,” Mills said.
Mills closed when the shutdown started to avoid liability issues, but he understands the excitement and says the extra precautions should weed out any bad eggs in the crowd.
“Those people aren’t out to get drunk. It’s a drink that they drink. It’s a flavor that they want or something they liked and that’s what they’re going to do,” Mills said.
All the same, local police know with any kind of loosening restrictions, their guard is going to have to be up.
“There would be, on the law enforcement side, an increased awareness to the products,” Patrolman Tom Richardson with the Dunmore Police said.
Different sized clear, seal-able containers with extra precautions to cover businesses from fines or license suspensions.
“We’re given an opportunity and we’re going to try to respect that,” Reese said.
“As long as everybody’s responsible with it, it’s a fantastic idea because it starts to open things back up,” Richardson said.
With Governor Wolf expected to put pen to paper on the cocktails to go bill, this could be the shot in the arm that many local restaurants need. Like the ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ would say, we want people to enjoy them responsibly. Like Reese says, they want you to enjoy them lawfully.
Again Governor Wolf has stated he’ll be signing this bill into law. For more information about the law, click here.