California will allow to-go cocktails, outdoor dining expansions to stay after June 15, Newsom says

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alcoholic drinks ordered with a to-go meal, which were illegal in California before the pandemic, will be allowed to continue as state restrictions are eased, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in March 2020 had temporarily eased the ban on to-go alcoholic drinks as many restaurants had to shut down for in-person dining at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But with vaccinations continuing to progress and state restrictions lifted on June 15, that rule won't return to how it was before, Newsom said.

"If you do takeout food, you'll be able to get the takeout cocktails," Newsom said.

The change does not apply to bars that do not sell food.

Other changes that are expected to continue are lifted restrictions on outdoor dining and rules to encourage outdoor parklets, he said.

Gov. Newsom speaks about efforts to help California restaurants

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California will allow to-go cocktails and outdoor dining expansions to stay after the economy fully reopens on June 15, Gov. Newsom announced during a press conference Thursday.



The idea is to help struggling restaurants recover.

"I think this is a good thing for our economic recovery," Newsom said.

Newsom made the announcement during an appearance in San Francisco with restaurant owners and their trade association.

RELATED: Here's what will reopen in California on June 15

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California announced the details of its full June 15 reopening plan Friday. The state is removing all capacity limits and physical distancing requirements, regardless of the business or setting.


"Before the pandemic California's restaurants were the number one generator of sales tax revenue for the state of California and our local governments," said Jot Condie, president and CEO of the California Restaurant Association.

"Sixty percent of California's restaurants are opened by people of color. When you look at the sales tax revenue that this industry generated prior to the pandemic, it underscores not only the important role that our industry plays in the fabric of every community, but the role it plays in all economies, local and statewide."

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