Drinks to Go?
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Pennsylvania bars and restaurants will likely be able to sell cocktails for takeout very soon. Perhaps in time for the Memorial Day Weekend.

In advance of Gov. Tom Wolf’s expected approval, bartenders are getting ready to sell drinks to go this holiday weekend. Pennsylvania’s cocktail-to-go rule is intended as temporary, extending only until businesses are able to reach 60% of seating capacity. This rule applies to licensees with a restaurant or hotel license that have lost more than 25% of average monthly sales during the pandemic. It also allows them to serve sealed containers of mixed drinks in servings of 4 to 64 ounces before 11 p.m. It is important to note that drinks may not be delivered.

Last week, New Jersey approved similar legislation, allowing bars to sell cocktails of up to a pint for takeout or delivery.

Of course, Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law will still apply. If any bartender gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, that business may be legally held responsible for injuries and damages the intoxicated individual might cause. PA’s Dram Shop law is often cited after a drunk driver causes a car crash. This law also applies if a restaurant serves a visibly intoxicated person and that person trips, falls, or gets seriously injured while walking back to their car – that person can also sue.


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