By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon signed an executive order Monday permitting restaurants, bars and grills with liquor licenses to sell malt beverages and wine with take-out and curbside food orders. These changes will take effect immediately.
“The social distancing measures we have implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been extremely challenging for the restaurant industry,” Gordon said in a news release. “This executive order provides an opportunity for an additional source of revenue for these businesses.”
The order includes requirements for the businesses that intend to sell alcohol to restrict alcohol sales to 49% or less of the total pre-tax order amount and to notify local law enforcement of the intent to sell alcohol with food.
Mike Moser, executive director of the Wyoming State Liquor Association, praised Gordon’s move, explaining that the order will help a number of restaurants across the state.
“Obviously we don’t want restaurants to turn into package liquor retailers, but it’s reasonable to allow these businesses the sales they would normally get,” Moser said.
Many Wyoming restaurants already have retail liquor licenses that allow them to sell package liquor through curbside orders. But Moser explained that since many small restaurants do not have retail licenses, allowing limited liquor sales could make an enormous difference.
“We need to get through this together,” Moser said.
He explained that chain restaurants such as Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings will again be allowed to sell alcohol in small quantities for curbside orders.
Wing Shack in Cheyenne is one of the restaurants now allowed to sell alcohol through Gordon’s order, and an employee explained that customers have to provide identification when they arrive to pick up their order.
“We’ll check their ID to make sure they’re 21 and as long as they are, we can sell either one four-pack of beer or up to four cans or bottles,” she said.
A full list of Gordon’s executive order conditions can be found here.
The order expires on April 17, matching the recently-extended public health orders issued by the Wyoming Department of Health.