Ohio Bars Can Now Sell Alcoholic Drinks by the Glass “To-Go”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule yesterday to allow Ohio restaurants and taverns with an existing on-premises liquor permit to sell and deliver alcohol, including high-proof liquor in limited quantity, for off-premises consumption.
This is a significant rule change, as Ohio bars and restaurants are historically very limited in alcohol carryout sales. Previously, they were not authorized to sell liquor at carryout, and they could not sell beer and wine for carryout by the single glass or container.
Under this temporary rule change, which is in effect for 120 days or until rescinded by Liquor Control (whichever happens first), customers may purchase up to two drinks per meal. Additionally, drinks cannot contain more than two ounces of spirituous liquor per container. It is important to note that all drinks must be closed and remain closed during transport in accordance with Ohio’s open container law cited in ORC 4301.01(B)(6).
In undertaking this change, Ohio is trying to afford more privileges to Ohio bars and restaurants affected by the statewide shutdown issued on March 15th. Since that date, Ohio restaurants and bars have struggled substantially, while alcohol sales nationwide have skyrocketed at carryout stores.
Stay tuned for updates, as we expect more changes on the horizon for Ohio’s hospitality industry.