Kansas restaurants hopeful for permanent curbside liquor law

To-go sales buoyed bars, restaurants amid pandemic
To-Go Liquor
Posted at 9:33 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 23:51:05-05

TOPEKA, Kan. — A bill that would allow for the permanent sale of to-go liquor is making its way through the state legislatures in both the Kansas and Missouri.

The Kansas House passed a measure Monday that would allow bars and restaurants to continue offering alcoholic beverages to-go.

Gov. Laura Kelly signed an executive order in June, which temporarily relaxed rules prohibiting bars and restaurants selling bottled alcoholic beverages to-go. The order is set to expire at the end of March.

“It definitely has helped us keep our business going,” Leah Shinkle, who works as a barista and bartender at the Bourgeois Pig in Lawrence, said.

The coffee shop and bar remains barred from allowing indoor dining for now due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it has been selling to-go cocktails since the summer, relying exclusively on such sales sometimes to stay open.

“It makes sense as a business model to add it in and to let people have to go cocktails on a regular basis,” Shinkle said. “What’s fun is to grab a bottle on the way home.”

Missouri lawmakers advanced a similar bill to make a temporary rule allowing curbside cocktails. Before the pandemic the state allowed beer sales in sealed containers.

Under the new legislation, Missouri restaurants would be required to put mixed drinks in tamper-proof, sealed containers. Customers also would be required to purchase food in addition to alcohol.