Some Triad restaurants, bars prepare to sell to-go cocktails under new executive order

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Under a new statewide executive order, some Triad bars and restaurants are preparing to serve to-go cocktails.

“It was kind of surprising, it came out of nowhere I feel like,” Lentz Isom, of Dram and Draught, said of the new regulations.

The Greensboro cocktail bar will serve mixed drinks in sealed containers. Staff are also making plans for a delivery service.

“Everything has to have our name on it, the drink title, how much alcohol is in it. We’re going to make sure it’s a sealed container with safety protocols, people can’t just like buy them and drink them as soon as they walk out,” Isom said.

According to the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, customers can order one mixed drink per person to-go. Customers can take unfinished mixed drink with them when leaving at the designated 10pm curfew, but beverages all have to be in a sealed container.

Isom said the order is a small lifeline to continue serving customers.

“When they get home they can just pour it over ice and enjoy a cocktail they wouldn’t be able to make at home,” he said. “It gives us a chance to reach out to the regulars that are a little scared to come out right now because of the virus, and there’s a lot of people that sent us messages online that they wish they could be able to try our new cocktail and now they’ll be able to.”

Employees sold pre-made mixes without alcohol while the bar was shut down for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Isom said now, they don’t have to tweak their specialties.

“My first response was ‘it’s about time.’ I think any time on a state level restaurants are being thought about and bars are being thought about, I’m always going to give that two thumbs up,” said Wes Wheeler, co-owner of Undercurrent.

Wheeler said he’s still considering his options when it comes to serving cocktails. He did question the timing of Governor Roy Cooper’s decision.

“I wonder if the reason we’re getting cocktails to go right now is because there might be some sort of other limitations he does as far as indoor dining or something of that nature,” he said.

FOX8 asked the governor directly if more restrictions were coming for indoor dining.

“At this point, we don’t have any plans to do that,” Cooper said. “We wanted to make sure it was a safer way to distribute this, and provide a financial boost for restaurants and bars that are hurting right now.”

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