OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials say the restaurant industry has been especially hard hit by the pandemic. To help, last year lawmakers passed to-go beer and wine, to try to keep money flowing. Now, starting August 25, Oklahomans can get cocktails to go.
“We just want to be able to take them to go. I mean, it’s a big deal. I took off work to do this. I was the first in line to buy one to go,” said Sam Laird of Norman.
A loyal customer of the Mont in Norman, happy that his frozen swirl can now be taken out the door.
“We have always wanted to be able to do swirls to go. We are now just happy that we have the opportunity to do it,“ said Patrick Kallin, General Manager of the Mont.
Thanks to a new law passed last session by the Oklahoma legislature, as of Wednesday, any restaurant or bar with a mixed beverage license can now serve cocktails to go.
“This is a result of the pandemic. What we wanted to do it try to help our restaurants out who have been suffering,” said Rep. Marcus McEntire of Duncan.
The law’s author says he worked with the Oklahoma Restaurant Association to pass the legislation that’s similar to those in 30 other states.
“Who would ever thought that we would pass cocktails to go, but we did. Restaurants have suffered a tremendous amount,” said Jim Hopper of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.
The Mont was one of the few places serving on opening day. There are some strict rules to follow.
Beverages must be served in rigid plastic containers with contents label clearly displayed.
“The caps are screw on they are just like a milk cap, screw on till it clicks. You will know if its been opened or not,” said Kallin.
Customers and delivery drivers must transport the drinks in the trunk and only licensed business employees can make house calls. There are no third-party deliveries.
“There are some hoops that’s you are going to have to jump through to make things happen. I’m just happy that we are able to get something to go,” said Kallin.
The new law is permanent.
Officials say the strict guidelines are designed to protect customers and businesses.
They say more business should start serving to go cocktails as they get up to speed on the regulations.