SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Closed restaurants across California are a sign of the times, but the industry that's struggling to stay afloat was just given a big reprieve from the state.
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says restaurants with a liquor license can now sell mixed drinks to-go.
This doesn't mean you'll be able to walk the streets with a cocktail, there are some rules. First, the restaurant must already have a liquor license. Second, mixed drinks can only be transported in completely sealed containers and purchased with food.
And if you're driving to get your food, the drinks must be transported in the trunk of a car.
"It frees up some regulations to allow many of the ABC license businesses to operate in this environment that's been economically challenging, to say the least. All the regular public safety measures remain in place," said ABC spokesperson John Carr.
Carr said it's all in an effort to help a struggling industry stay on its feet.
Tyler Williams is the owner of Tank House & Jungle Bird in Midtown Sacramento. He says he hopes to make enough money from these new "to-go" sales that he can hire back the employees he was forced to lay off.
"I'm able to combine two of my three businesses and have one storefront to sell tiki drinks and barbecue food," Williams said.
He said he had to get creative to comply with the sealed container rule.
"The sealed drinks immediately went into our deli cups that we're offering for our beans, in our takeout items. They're sealed tight, they're airtight," Williams said.
He's following all the rules in the hopes that maybe the state will keep this whole thing going.
"I'm just really grateful we can do this at all," Williams said.
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