By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Cocktails to-go have been allowed for nearly a month now in Oregon’s bars and restaurants to help with the cash flow.
And some local businesses are saying it’s already helping them stay afloat.
“People always used to ask if they could do margaritas with their meals to-go, so now that it is available, I think they will continue to doing it as long as we are able to continue to do it,” said Raphael Rodriguez, owner of El Rancho Grande in Bend.
Rodriguez has been selling mixed to-go drink orders for less than two weeks.
“You know it has actually been going great for us, we’ve done, in about 13 days of us having this available, we’ve sold over 400 cocktails,” he said.
Most restaurants have suffered significantly, due to indoor dining restrictions that have been in place for months.
Due to COVID restrictions, restaurants and bars are limited to take-out only through at least Jan. 28th.
At Hola, on Bend’s East side, server Antonio Guitron says being able to sell liquor again has helped.
“Now with to-go drinks available, it’s just bumped up the sales and people keep coming back cause now they know they can take some,” Guitron said.
Rodriguez says customers are still discovering they can enjoy their favorite drinks at home.
“As far as alcohol sales to-go it is about 30% that we do through online, the rest would be just people just picking up and adding to their order once they realize it is available,” he said.
Some rules to sell mixed drinks to-go include, alcohol can only be sold with food and mixed drinks must be sealed in a container before leaving the restaurant.
“It is just like any other juice bottle, when you pop it you can hear a click and it breaks the seal,” Rodriguez said about his sealed container.
El Rancho Grande uses sealed bottles, while Hola is sealing up plastic cups.
Bars and restaurants can continue selling liquor to-go until 60 days after the governor’s emergency declaration.