Skip to contents
Culture

Colorado may permanently allow cocktails to-go as bill makes its way through the legislature

A previous executive order from Democratic Gov. Jared Polis allowing takeout alcohol was scheduled to expire this summer.

Teocalli Cocina bartender Tim Knight prepares a to-go cocktail on June 3, 2020. The Lafayette, Colorado, restaurant reopened to in-person dining on May 27, but continued doing brisk business with curbside pickup of food and drinks. Alcoholic beverages are served in plastic or paper cups with a lid and a Colorado Department of Revenue "seal" taped on that warns purchasers that opening the mixed drink in the car is illegal. (Dana Coffield, The Colorado Sun)

People in Colorado may keep celebrating happy hour at home with beverages from their favorite restaurants after the state House passed a measure to extend the sale of to-go cocktails past the duration of coronavirus pandemic.

State representatives unanimously advanced the bill to the Senate on Wednesday, KUSA-TV reported.

A previous executive order from Democratic Gov. Jared Polis allowing takeout alcohol was scheduled to expire this summer. If the legislation passes, it would allow such alcohol sales to continue for five years, or until July 1, 2026.

“Alcohol to-go sales have been a crucial lifeline for Colorado restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the gravest crisis the restaurant industry has faced in living memory. Ninety-three percent of restaurant operators who responded to a recent survey told us they are deriving revenue from alcohol to-go orders,” Colorado Restaurant Association CEO Sonia Riggs said.

According to data from the Colorado Restaurant Association, 85% of residents favor making takeout and delivery alcohol permanent.

“We are grateful that the House of Representatives has unanimously passed this important piece of legislation, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to advance and pass this bill,” Riggs said.

More than 30 states have started to allow restaurants, bars and similar establishments to sell cocktails to-go as a COVID-19 economic relief measure. Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Montana, Arkansas and the District of Columbia have all made their to-go measures permanent.


We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable. This reporting depends on support from readers like you.