Gov. Kim Richards signed the HF 2540 bill into law on Monday, changing the Iowa Code to allow bars to sell alcoholic drinks for take-out and delivery for off-premise consumption, The Des Moines Register reported. The temporary measure was initially enacted to provide businesses much-needed economic relief amid COVID-19 closures and restrictions earlier this year.
The coronavirus pandemic has upended the way Americans wine and dine – and now, Iowa has become the first state in the nation to legalize the sale of cocktails to-go.
An executive for the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) praised the Hawkeye State’s decision to permanently allow to-go drinks.
“Iowa’s hospitality businesses have suffered greatly due to the harsh financial impacts of COVID-19,” Dale Szyndrowski, DISCUS vice president of state government relations, said in a statement. “Making cocktails to-go permanent provides a much-needed source of stability and revenue for local bars, restaurants and distilleries as they begin to recover.
“We thank Governor Reynolds and the legislature for supporting local businesses and their employees by making Iowa the first state to make a temporary cocktails to-go measure permanent. Iowa is leading the way and serving as a model for other states looking for innovative ways to boost struggling hospitality businesses.”
According to the organization, over 30 states and Washington, D.C. are currently allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell alcoholic drinks, bottled spirits or both to-go. States including Texas, Florida, Ohio and Oklahoma are similarly considering making the move permanent.
DISCUS stressed that to-go alcoholic drinks are intended for consumption at home, in moderation, for adults.