Cheers! Cocktails-to-go are here to stay in Florida

Cocktails-to-go are here to stay in Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Thursday that allows restaurants to continue selling to-go alcohol, which became popular when dining rooms were shuttered because of the COVID pandemic.

“It worked well,” DeSantis said at Houligan’s sports bar in Ormond Beach. “People liked it. There was a good response.”

The industry-backed legislation (SB 148) authorizes to-go alcohol with takeout and delivery food orders. To-go alcoholic beverages must be served in secured containers with food. Beverages must be placed in a car’s locked trunk, a locked compartment or the area behind the last upright seat.

To qualify for the to-go option, an eatery must have at least 2,500 square feet of service area, be equipped to serve meals to 150 people at a time and derive at least 51% of revenue from food and nonalcoholic beverage sales.

The new law takes effect July 1.

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