Erick PoorbaughBy Erick J. Poorbaugh

Poorbaugh is an associate practicing out of Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig’s Richmond Office

[03.20.2020 Richmond]   Amidst disease management measures that have all but shut down the restaurant industry in Virginia, the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority (“ABC”) has just granted a concession to ease the burdens these restrictions have placed on restauranteurs.  In an order issued yesterday, the ABC declared that any restaurants that have a license to sell beer and wine in-house may also make these beverages available as part of to-go and delivery orders.

This order marks a drastic departure from the ABC’s standard rules, which require additional licensing for such sales.  However, as recent restrictions instituted by the state government in response to COVID-19 have effectively forced Virginia restaurants to either close or switch to exclusively offering pick-up and delivery service, the ABC has “adopt[ed] a General Permit to allow on-premises licenses permission to also sell wine and beer for off-premises consumption.”  This order also “authorizes the delivery of such products without the necessity of the licensee obtaining a delivery permit.”

Restaurants should be aware that this order only applies to wine and beer—not liquor and mixed drinks—and that certain other restrictions apply.  This change is part of a series of special exceptions that the ABC has created to accommodate the restrictions placed on Virginia businesses due to COVID-19.  If you have any questions about this or other orders recently issued by the ABC, contact the experienced alcohol licensing attorneys at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC.

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Posted in: Alcohol & Beverage Law, Announcements, Client Alerts