CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Ohio restaurants, while deemed essential, are still taking a big hit from the stay at home order by losing revenue from food and alcohol sales.
But on Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced restaurants that currently have a liquor license have permission to sell alcoholic drinks with carryout and delivery orders.
According to the Ohio Department of Commerce the new rule is only permitted for establishments that sell food and have a food service license issued by the local health department. A spokesperson with the department tells News 5, country clubs are included in the new rule and can only serve club members. Customers must order food with the alcoholic drinks and are limited to two drinks per entrée. They say each drink must only have two ounces of alcohol per container.
All current open container law still apply. We’re told all drinks must be sealed and cannot be consumed until the customer reaches their destination.
Demetrius Wilson, owner of Legends Bistro, says he was excited about the announcement.
“Anything extra would help because we’re kind of like just trying to keep the doors open right now,” he said. “We took a tremendous loss and you know we’re just trying to recover.”
Though customers continue call in and pick up to go orders, Wilson says adapting to change during this pandemic has been challenging.
“I had to layoff the whole front of my house which is the dining room staff [and] the bartenders,” Wilson said. “I’m pretty much the staff now. I do everything. I take the orders, I serve people. I only have a cook working with me [and] some days I have a dishwasher.”
Wilson is now serving three different alcoholic drinks with food orders in hopes it helps provide some financial relief. The drinks are served in portable, plastic pouches.
“As soon as I heard the announcement my brain started rolling and I just came up with my pouches. I’ve had a good response so far,” he said. “I have a margarita, a Long Island and a Patron margarita. This is brand new so when I tell people that we have these things their faces light up they want it.”
The new alcohol rule will remain in place for 120 days. However, the Ohio Liquor Commission can end it early with no extensions. For more information visit the Ohio Department of Commerce’s website by clicking here.