By Bob Katzen

The Senate 9-30, rejected an amendment that would extend the life of a current law that allows restaurants during the pandemic state of emergency to sell sealed containers of mixed drinks, beer and wine with take-out and delivery orders.

Under the current law, restaurants would be able to continue do this only until the governor lifts the ban. The amendment would extend the law for another two years after the governor lifts the ban.

“A year into the state of emergency we are seeing glimmers of hope for economic recovery,” said Sen. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen), the amendment’s sponsor. “But businesses, particularly in the food and beverage sector and other segments of the hospitality industry, are still in survival mode. If we have any intention of helping them actually recover, we will continue to need programs like beverages to-go that provide our restaurants with much needed revenue streams now and in the future.”

Amendment opponents said they support the alcohol take-out and delivery options for restaurants but noted that the emergency ban is still in effect and will likely be in effect for a long time. They argued there is no pressing need to extend the take-out and delivery options and noted the extension can be revisited sometime in the future.

(A “Yes” vote is for extending the take-out and delivery of alcoholic beverages for two years following the end of the emergency. A “No” vote is against extending it).

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