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Time to Get Crafty: NJ will Allow Craft Cocktails and Mixed Drinks by Licensees

After an upswing in consumer demand, New Jersey’s Governor has signed legislation A3966 that will overrule current ABC regulations and allow restaurants and bars to serve specialty mixed cocktails “to-go” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the bill, the holder of plenary retail consumption licenses, hotel or motel licenses, seasonal retail consumption licenses, or concessionaire permits will be permitted to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages in original containers or in closed and sealed containers and mixed cocktails in closed and sealed containers for consumption off the licensed premises. The bill will expire six months following the date: (1) on which the state of emergency has ended; or (2) on which the coronavirus-related occupancy or customer seating restrictions no longer apply to the licensed premises, whichever occurs later.

The bill will also allow craft distillery licensees to sell for consumption off the licensed premises distilled alcoholic beverages that are manufactured on the licensed premises and mixed or blended with other alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages and sold in closed and sealed containers.

This law comes on the heels of a recent set of administrative charges from the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control against over a dozen liquor license establishments who had engaged in the practice (likely without knowledge of the previous prohibition). Many of those licenses are facing a suspension or even revocation of their liquor license for violations of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order and other ABC laws.

What Does this Mean for Bars and Restaurants?

Quite simply, this new law means that your local bar or restaurant can now sell you the perfect margarita, old fashioned or martini to-go with your meal. The hope is that this will allow struggling establishments to find new ways to generate revenue while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict and stifle businesses. Support you local businesses today and enjoy a craft cocktail to celebrate the change in law!

Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Lawyers in New Jesery

William Fay is a New Jersey Attorney that handles all types of legal and transactional issues involving the alcoholic beverage industry. Whether you currently own a a license and received a Notice of Charges seeking a suspension of your license or you are looking to buy/sell a liquor license, our firm is here to help. If you would like a complimentary consultation, please contact our office today at 732-858-5857.

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