Missouri cocktails-to-go ends next month; Restaurants say it should be permanent

Restaurants push lawmakers to extend coronavirus waiver on sales of pre-prepared alcoholic drinks.

Megan Lynch
May 12, 2020 - 3:39 pm
Restaurant carry out

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KMOX) - CEO and cofounder of Mission Taco Joint Adam Tilford is helping lead the push for a permanent extension of the Missouri waiver that has allowed his restaurants to sell cocktails-to-go during the pandemic.

"Some would argue that it's a lot easier to get a six pack of beer and drink it in your car than it is a margarita in a milk jug," Tilford says.

He says in the short-term, curbside cocktails have provided the revenue to reopen some locations and call back some employees. The emergency rule, stating restaurants can sell "retailer-packaged, alcoholic beverages" will end in mid-June.

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Long-term Tilford expects the demand for to-go orders will continue, "with margins being so razor-thin in restaurants, we're losing those liquor sales with the to-go sales, so having that ability is just going to help restaurants survive in the future."

Tilford says the waiver has also boosted sales for food and liquor vendors, and increased sales tax revenues.

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