Atlanta mayor extends order allowing restaurants to sell takeout alcohol

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks at a luncheon at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta, Ga., on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Casey Sykes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks at a luncheon at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta, Ga., on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Casey Sykes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

The original order, now extended through June 30, opened an additional revenue stream for many restaurants.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms today extended an administrative order that allows restaurants to sell unopened wine and malt beverages for off-premise consumption through June 30. The original order, issued March 20, was set to expire today after an initial 60-day period.

Administrative Order 2020-14 technically directs the Atlanta Police Department not to enforce the prohibited sale of unopened wine and malt beverages, a legal classification for beer and cocktails, to be consumed outside of the restaurant.

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This extension of the mayor’s administrative order comes as restaurants statewide have been allowed to reopen for dine-in service. All restaurants, whether offering full-service or takeout-only, must adhere to guidelines designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

As dining rooms were shut down in March, many restaurants found themselves with large inventories of wine, beer and liquor that they were not legally allowed to sell. The original administrative order helped ease that burden and open another possible revenue stream for restaurants. Many restaurants have taken advantage of the opportunity, offering wine at a discount, selling draft beer by the growler and preparing batched, pre-mixed cocktails to go.

Some restaurants are still in the process of deciding when and how they will reopen for on-premise dining. This extension gives operators the flexibility to continue operating on a takeout basis, as they have for the past two months.

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