Originally posted on March 16, 2020. This Stoel Rives Client Alert has been updated with new guidance issued by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“WSLCB”) on March 24th, 2020.
On Monday, March 16th, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide emergency proclamation to order a temporary statewide closure of all on-site food or beverage services including restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities. That proclamation was later followed by Governor Inslee’s March 23rd, 2020 Stay Home – Stay Healthy order requiring all people in Washington State to stay home unless conducting essential activities until midnight on April 6, 2020 at the earliest. During this time, restaurants are still allowed to provide take-out and delivery services, but in-person dining remains prohibited.
Following the Governor’s most recent order, on Tuesday, March 24th, 2020, the WSLCB took extraordinary measures to expand the curbside service and delivery options available to Washington restaurants. In this alert Stoel Rives’ beverage attorneys discuss the key takeaways from the WSLCB’s latest guidance and how Washington retailers can sell alcoholic beverages “to-go” right now.
Curbside Service and Deliveries for Restaurants and Bars
In a major development this week, licensed Washington restaurants, taverns, and bars are now authorized to start offering curbside service and making to-go sales and deliveries that include alcohol whether they have to-go sales privileges or not. Per WSLCB’s guidance this week, effective immediately, restaurants no longer need to apply for an off-premises sales endorsement on their liquor license or request permission from the agency to make deliveries that include alcohol. This policy is, of course, temporary and will remain in effect for the duration of Governor Inslee’s order banning on-premises dining. Here’s what this means for your business.
Holders of Tavern Licenses or Beer/Wine Restaurant Licenses may sell, deliver, and/or offer curbside pickup for the following items:
Holders of Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurant Licenses may sell, deliver, and/or offer curbside pickup for the following items:
Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurants licensees should take note that deliveries or curbside sales that include bottles of spirits must include the purchase of food. In other words, no to-go sales of bottles of spirits unless the customer’s order also includes a meal or other food items.
If you’re thinking about taking sales over the internet and making deliveries, we encourage you to contact a Stoel Rives beverage attorney and keep the following in mind:
Curbside Grocery Service
Like restaurants, licensed Washington grocery stores are also allowed to provide curbside service to customers who order groceries online. The store may designate pickup areas outside of the grocery store where customers can have their groceries brought to them. Here is what you need to know if a customer’s online order includes alcohol: