Takeout alcohol bill on Governor’s desk as executive order is set to expire

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 10:15 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In March, Gov. Ricketts signed an executive order to allow restaurants to serve alcohol to-go. On Monday, he announced that’d be ending on June 1.

But with new legislation, it could become law as a to-go alcohol bill is currently on Gov. Ricketts’ desk.

Local restaurants and bars said creativity played a key role in staying afloat the last year.

Managing partner of Boiler Brewing, Thad Aerts, said, “We have a slushie machine that we will put beer and cider into and make slushies and we have through the pandemic sold that to-go in a cup.”

This is one thing Boiler Brewing has done since March, but it wasn’t their biggest seller.

What was, though, was their Crowlers.

Aerts said, “Obviously, during the pandemic, we saw a huge spike in sales for those because that’s the only thing we were selling.”

The to-go alcohol bill has unanimous support from lawmakers and with the legislation awaiting the Governor’s signature, both take-out alcohol and the Crowlers could be available long-term.

Lincoln Sen. Suzanne Geist, who co-sponsored the bill, said, “Everyone has a restaurant or bar in their district and these establishments have really suffered the past year.”

Geist said there are still several safety rules around it. Bottles will need to be sealed and labeled. They’d also have to be put as far away from the driver as possible and people must order food with it.

Sen. Geist said, “It also allows people to drive-thru, for instance, into a convenience store as long as the clerk puts the order in the rear compartment of the car.”

Sen. Geist said to-go alcohol was a lifesaver for some businesses and is a positive in a time when we saw a lot of negatives.

If approved the by Governor, it’ll go into effect immediately as the bill has an emergency clause attached to it.

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