Alcohol to-go is here to stay

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — We’re used to seeing people walk out of restaurants with to-go boxes, but beginning Thursday, we might see more to-go cups.

The bill Governor Ron DeSantis signed on May 13th will permanently allow restaurants to sell alcohol to-go.

“We even had diners before the storm, for years, that wanted stuff to-go and I’m sorry we just can’t do that because it just wasn’t allowed,” said Eddy Davis, Manager of Uncle Ernie’s.

To-go alcohol became an important source of revenue for restaurants trying to survive during the pandemic and now it’s here to stay.

“Well it’s going to be really great for us here at Uncle Ernie’s especially for the fact that we have this amazing dock and we have so much boat traffic that comes in so people can now enjoy their stuff to-go on the boats and stuff,” said Davis.

Before you get too excited, there are some restrictions as to which restaurants can serve alcohol to-go.

The food service establishment must have 2,500 square feet of service area, equipped to serve meals to 150 people at one time, and 51% of its revenue must come from food and non-alcoholic beverages during the first 60-day operating period.

“Definitely all the times we missed with COVID and people not being able to come in and eat. I think it’s going to help the servers out a lot with our sales and put money back into their pockets that we missed because of COVID,” said Jordan Childree, Manager of Los Antojitos.

The drink must be in a sealed container and placed in a bag or other container with the receipt attached to it. You can also permanently get the alcohol delivered.

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