Curbside sales of alcohol in Alabama have ended—What’s next?

Rojo drink curbside alcohol
Miniatures for sale from Rojo in September. Photo via Rojo on Instagram

Earlier this week, we learned the emergency curbside sales of alcohol expired as of Monday, January 4. Not only was the authorization issued to help local businesses during the holiday season, but also to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

And even though cases are still on the rise, the temporary authorization has expired, leaving businesses wondering what’s next. Read on to find out why this issue is important and how you can help.

Background on the Authorization

cocktail kits queens park
Curbside cocktail kit from Queen’s Park. Photo via Queen’s Park Facebook

A fellow Bham Nower, Pat Byington, picked up the phone and connected with Daniel Dye, Public Information Specialist with the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, to get the 411. Here’s what we learned:

On December 14, 2020, the ABC Board announced the emergency, temporary authorization of curbside alcohol sales in Alabama.

“…As more positive (Covid-19) tests were coming back, the board heard from several different people within the industry requesting us to bring back the curbside pick up.

It was a combination of the rise of Covid numbers and the decrease of holiday parties and festivities at restaurants that brought about the board passing the measure which expired Jan. 4.

Daniel Dye | Public Information Specialist, Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

Restaurants Calling for Renewal

Laney DeJonge, co-owner of Rojo—one of Birmingham’s most popular restaurants—shared her frustrations in a Facebook post on Jan. 5, as well as a statement regarding the authorization’s expiration with Bham Now.

“The ABC Board originally stated that they were allowing restaurants and bars to sell ‘to go’ alcohol in order to help businesses during the pandemic. However, the Board unexpectedly allowed the order to expire in September just as the cases were rising, leaving restaurants with unused inventory of the smaller takeout-sized bottles.

Then, in December they reinstated the order for only 19 days and restricted the liquor bottle sizes to even smaller 375mL sizes, which most restaurants and bars don’t carry.”

Laney DeJonge | Co-owner, Rojo

As Covid-19 numbers continue to rise, many people are depending on pick-up options to support local businesses. And Dejonge is hoping the Board will renew the order for a longer duration to allow for restaurants and bars enough time to stock necessary items.

“Covid-19 cases are still rising and restaurants and bars are still suffering. We have many customers who are trying to stay home as much as possible during the pandemic and they appreciated being able to support our restaurant while getting alcoholic beverages for themselves.

We hope that the ABC Board will renew the order with a longer time frame to make it worthwhile for businesses to stock these items.”

Laney DeJonge | Co-owner, Rojo

What You Can Do

ghost train cuurbside drinks
To-go drinks from Ghost Train Brewing Co. Photo via Ghost Train on Facebook

DeJonge has a point.

  • Cases are still rising.
  • Bars are suffering.
  • And we need to help people stay home to keep them safe.

If you care about this, connect with the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association (334.244.1320) and tell them to support extending curbside alcohol sales — and do it before ABC Board’s next meeting on January 28, 2021. 

Lend our local restaurants and bars a hand by calling for a long-term solution. 

Hannah Chambley
Hannah Chambley
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