How cocktails to go works in North Carolina

A Greyhound cocktail at Sidebar in Cary, recently consumed on-site.

It’s been a tough nine months for bars. The initial stay-at-home order in March closed the doors to bars and private clubs. Bars with patios or that could manage makeshift outdoor seating could re-open outdoors only at reduced capacity in early October.

Now, bars and restaurants can offer mixed drinks to go, as of 5 p.m. Monday.

It’s an effort to support local bars and restaurants who could use a “financial boost,” the governor said in a press release.

The executive order went into effect the same day it was announced, so many bars and restaurants haven’t announced their plans for cocktails to go.

It’s not a new idea, several states already allow cocktails to go. The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association said it was a battle “fought long and hard” for small business relief.

Here’s what you should know about ordering a mixed drink to go or for delivery:

🍸 What it doesn’t change: Open container rules still apply; you can’t drink and drive or bring your cocktail anywhere you couldn’t before. There are rules about the sealed containers that businesses must follow.

🍸 Have your proof of age and identification on hand: You’ll have to show you’re 21 or older during the hand off of your drink, whether that’s a carry-out cocktail or a delivery.

The person who purchased the drink must be the person who receives it.

According to the FAQ, “in the event of delivery of multiple alcoholic beverages to one location, the deliverer must verify the identification of each individual and only that individual may take actual possession.”

🍸 If you bought it, you have to be there to receive it. For example, your partner can’t pick up your carryout cocktail for you.

🍸 You can only purchase one, and if you appear intoxicated, the seller or delivery person can refuse to hand it over.

🍸 Carry-out or delivery mixed drinks are available until 2 a.m., and you can leave your home to pick one up. On-premise consumption sales still must end by 9 p.m., according to the current curfew.

Read more in the state’s FAQ or executive order.

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Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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