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Rhode Island General Assembly OKs bill allowing restaurants to continue selling drinks with take-out until March 2022

With a vote in the House today, the General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo and Rep. Jacquelyn Baginski to allow any Class B liquor license holders and brewpubs to sell certain amounts of beer, wine and mixed drinks with take-out food order through March 1, 2022. The bill now heads to the governor’s office.

“The restaurant and hospitality industry has been battered by the economic effects of the pandemic, and is now facing another struggle in the shape of an employee shortage. We need this industry — which includes so many treasured small businesses that make Rhode Island the special place that is — to survive the pandemic. This simple extension of take-out drinks will help them stay afloat, bring in a little more revenue, and keep paying their employees and supporting our economy,” said Senator Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).

Said Representative Baginski (D-Dist. 17, Cranston), “While we’re fortunate that many of the COVID restrictions for businesses have been lifted, the restaurant industry in particular continues to suffer from the devastating economic impact of the last year and a half. Our restaurants are in desperate need of every cent that comes their way.  This legislation will help them stay on the road to recovery.” 

The legislation (2021-S 0555Aaa2021-H 5105A) will allow Class B license holders and brewpubs to sell up to two 750 ml bottles of wine, 72 ounces of a mixed-wine drinks, 144 ounces of beer, and mixed drinks with no more than nine ounces of distilled spirits. All drinks must be sold in factory-sealed containers or containers sealed in such a way as to prevent re-opening without obvious evidence that the seal was removed or broken.

The bill applies only to take-out orders, not delivery. It would take effect upon passage and would sunset on March 1, 2022.

Class B license holders include any business where the principal business is the furnishing of food and sleeping accommodations and any shop or place where a substantial part of the business is the furnishing of food for consumption at the place where it is furnished.


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