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Bars, restaurants ask governor to allow alcohol to be sold with take-out food

Screen shot of the open letter to the governor on change.org.

Bars and restaurants are asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to allow them to sell cocktails and other alcohol with take-out food orders.

Bartenders, servers, restaurant owners and others from around the state are signing an open letter to the governor. They’re asking for a temporary executive order that would allow them to sell single-serving cocktails, beer, wine, or other spirits along with food during the duratio of the COVID-19 'stay at home' order.

Robyn Cleveland, a distiller who makes Norden Aquavit, wrote the letter on Change.org. He says the restaurant industry and its employees are in dire straits and drink sales could help save some businesses.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Robyn Cleveland (file photo).

“I think giving them as many tools and in their arsenal to stave off permanent closure or maybe even doing well enough to bring a one or two workers back. I mean, what what's the harm,” Cleveland asked.

The drinks could be sealed so that transporting them would not violate open container laws. Other states such as Ohio are already allowing drinks to go.

“And they're allowing two drinks per food order. And I think that's plenty reasonable. It could go a long way to help generate much needed revenue,” Cleveland said.

Business up the supply chain, including Cleveland’s business, have also been hurt because of the end of adult beverage sales.

The governor’s office has not responded to a request for comment.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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