Allow the temporary sale of alcohol to-go from restaurants and bars in Michigan

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer,

On behalf of restaurant and bar owners, operators, and employees, we are urging The State of Michigan to enact a temporary executive order to allow for the sale of safely packaged single-serving cocktails and/or beer,wine, and spirits from licensed establishments during the covid-19 pandemic. 

As I’m sure you know, many food/beverage/hospitality businesses have been forced to close down entirely due to their inability to operate under current social distancing measures. The few that remain open are doing so in a fight to survive. WDET REPORTS $491 Million in lost sales for Michigan restaurants

By allowing the SAFE sale of alcohol for off-premise consumption we can give businesses more opportunities to generate revenue and a better chance of returning to normal operation once restrictions are eased.

Many states have already instituted similar executive orders in support of their small businesses with great success. The added revenue has been able to stave off further closures and in some cases bring furloughed employees back to work. EATER: Liquor Laws Loosen Up in the Face of Delivery-Only Dining

Ohio restaurants now able to sell take-out liquor, cocktails Gov. Mike DeWine says

If granted, an executive order can effectively treat any sale of alcohol in a similar fashion to off-premise sales by a retailer.  The purchaser would need to keep the container closed and only consume the beverage safely from home or be in violation of existing open-container laws.

While there isn’t a “one-size fits all” Executive Order to reference, as small business owners, workers, patrons, and local suppliers, we urgently request you and your legislative team look at what is working in other states and implement fair and realistic measures to safely and effectively support Michigan businesses during these unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

Robyn Cleveland - Owner/Distiller, Norden Aquavit

Micah Bartelme - CEO, BarStar Group

Robben Schulz - Managing Partner, Watershed Hospitality

Dave Kwiatkowski - Detroit Optimist Society Hospitality

Will Lee - Beverage Director/Proprietor, Grey Ghost & Second Best

Luciano DelSignore - Chef/Owner Bacco/Pernod

Joe Robinson - Standby/The Skip/Deluxx Fluxx

Sandy Levine - Proprietor, The Oakland and Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails

Nick Britsky - Nick Drinks studio

Rob Hanks - Head Bartender, Side Bar Grand Rapids

Matthew Buskard - Bobcat Bonnies, Owner

Anthony Jones  - Bar Manager, Buffalo Traders Lounge

Jon Foley - Partner, Relief and Resource Co, Fenton, MI 

James Rigato - Chef/Owner, Mable Gray

Summer Ransom - Co- owner, Norden Spirits, LLC

Cole Levy - Great Lakes region sales manager, Copper and Kings Distillery

Ping Ho, Co-Owner Marrow Detroit

Scott Rutterbush - President, Dine Drink Detroit

Eli Boyer - Owner, Voyager - Ferndale, Mi

Richard R. Muschiana - Co-owner/Founder Sovengard

Rebecca Wurster - Beverage Director, Savant Midtown

Kate Williams - Owner, Lady of the House

Drew Pompa - Beverage Director, Takoi/Magnet

Gary Jonas - The Little Fleet, Traverse City

John P. Jerome - Owner/Operator, Detroit City Distillery and VP, Michigan Craft Distillers Association

Kyle VanStrien and John O’Connor - Owners, Long Road Distillers

Ariel Gosselin - Bar Manager and Beverage Director, Lost River

Perry and Sharon LaVoisne and Jeff and Susie King - Owners, Working Class Outlaws