The sale of take-out alcoholic beverages, along with other updates to Columbia’s liquor codes, were approved at the October 4 city council meeting. While some restaurants currently offer take-out alcoholic beverages, others are unsure of future demand.
Decision to expand Columbia liquor codes follows signing of Senate Bill 126 by Governor Mike Parson on July 7.
âAllowing restaurants to sell take-out drinks is just one more thing that restaurants have the freedom to provide to their customers and helps restaurants stay in business,â said Richard Walls, co-owner of The Heidelberg and member of the Missouri Restaurant Association.
Local restaurants were allowed to sell take-out alcoholic beverages during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 and now have the option to make them a permanent part of their menu.
The demand for take-out alcoholic beverages varies by restaurant. Some locations see the majority of sales coming from takeout orders, as opposed to customers who eat out and have a drink to go with them.
Shakespeare’s Pizza hasn’t seen a strong demand for take-out alcoholic beverages, manager Toby Epstein said.
âIt’s not on our radar right now, and we want to offer our customers whatever we can, so if there’s a demand for it later on, we’ll do it,â Epstein said.
Bud’s Classic BBQ, a new restaurant in downtown Columbia, offers take-out alcoholic beverages for patrons and plans to add cocktails on tap to its dining menu.
âWe typically get the majority of our takeout orders during lunchtime and people don’t normally add a takeout drink to their order,â said owner Jason Paetzold. âWe don’t have a high demand for take-out alcoholic drinks right now, but when we launch our food service, we’ll be adding a large format of on-tap cocktails that will go great with grilling. “
Consumers can now purchase take-out alcoholic beverages with the purchase of a meal and are limited to two drinks per meal ordered. Alcoholic beverage containers must be sealed and cannot be placed in a typical take-out cup with a straw.
City Council also approved the extension of Sunday liquor sales hours from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., allowing liquor stores to sell alcohol that can be consumed on property and allowing organizations to aim non-profit to have a start time for alcohol sales at special events.