Business owners say to-go alcohol should become a permanent fix

SALISBURY, Md. – Could alcohol delivery and carryout become a thing of the past in Maryland once COVID-19 restrictions loosen? That’s something that some local leaders and restaurant owners are wondering as they’re allowed to reopen for outdoor service. Some believe making this allowance a permanent rule could help businesses grow.  “It seems to work very well. It’s very much like going to the store, buying a 6 pack of beer, and taking it home,” said Maryland district 38B delegate Carl Anderton Jr.

Roadie Joe’s owner Jeremy Norton says that at a time when bars and restaurants are losing out on dine-in service, to-go alcohol is essential for meeting their bottom line. “The alcohol is everything. Most restaurants and bars work on razor thin margins and most of the profit comes from your alcohol sales,” said Norton.

Back in March, Maryland Larry Hogan ordered that alcohol could be delivered by businesses with a valid liquor license. Delegate Anderton says the results have been clear. “It seems to have been very successful, and very timely, and needed. It has allowed many of our local restaurants to stay afloat during this crisis,” said delegate Anderton.

Norton tells 47ABC that it makes good business sense to keep this avenue of profit open for restaurants. “What they’ve outlined for us is sensible legislation. It makes sense what they’re doing. If I can put a lid on it, I should be able to let you walk out the door with it, and what you do as an understanding adult and a responsible adult is your decision,” said Norton.

Delegate Anderton says that he thinks business owners will push for carryout and delivery alcohol to become a permanent fix, but the first step would be to get their local leaders on board. “I believe that doing things as local as you can is best because each part of the state is different and everybody has different viewpoints,” said delegate Anderton.

For now, Roadie Joe’s says that they’re planning on starting outdoor service on June 4th and they’re excited to get customers back here, and in their seats. 47ABC did reach out to Governor Larry Hogan’s office for comment on whether or not he’s considering extending the order, but we have not yet heard back.

Categories: Business, Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland