DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado restaurants continue the fight to serve alcohol to-go permanently as a way to make up for pandemic losses.
A measure to allow the service temporarily passed unopposed in the State House. The Colorado Restaurant Association told FOX31 a measure that would make the service permanent would help the industry recover from more than $3 billion in pandemic losses. Experts say that will take more than five years.
Nick Hoover, Government Affairs Director of the CRA told FOX31, “restaurants are currently able to sell alcohol to-go to patrons … right now two years is just not long enough for restaurants to recover from COVID-19.”
The CRA told FOX31 it has worked with the state liquor enforcement division to develop community safety guidelines that support laws that apply to transporting alcohol.
“When it comes to a cocktail they have to have a solid lid on it with a tamper evident seal on it,” Hoover said.
Dana Query of the Big Red “F” Restaurant Group is fighting to provide jobs and good meals at several restaurants operated by the business, including Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar, Post Chicken and Beer, Lola Coastal Mexican, Centro Mexican Kitchen and West End Tavern.
“We don’t operate with huge cash balances so what we’re making this week is paying for payroll next week,” Query said.
During the government shut down, the company had to furlough more than 600 employees. One thing that has been helping to keep business going is alcohol to-go.
“Most of our guests are only coming out maybe for special occasions, the rest of the time they are supporting us by ordering to-go,” she said.
Now that regulations are loosening and the summer holiday season is near, business is picking up, but recovery from deep losses will take an extended period of time. Query tells FOX31 keeping staff employed and safe is a top priority along with offering customers top quality food and service.
Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar is Colorado’s first certified sustainable seafood restaurant partner of Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
Query says anything that can keep it afloat is worth fighting for.
“We need to do as much as we can to help the restaurant recovery,” she said.
The CRA told FOX31 85% of Coloradans over the age of 21 support extending alcohol to-go.