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  • Writer's pictureJonathon W. Baker, Esq.

Alcohol-to-Go: FL Rep. Josie Tomkow Joins Effort to Allow Alcohol Delivery by Florida Restaurants

Rep. Josie Tomkow (R) filed HB 329 on January 19, 2021, which if passed will allow Florida restaurants holding a Special Food Service (SFS) liquor license to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption if certain requirements are met. The alcohol sold would need to be in a sealed container and accompany the sale of food within the same order. Notably, the restaurant would be able to prepare the drink and seal the package itself per the Bill's language, meaning even mixed drinks could be sold for off-premises consumption. Several other requirements would need to be met, such as deriving at least 51% of the restaurant's gross sales from the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages. The bill would take effect July 1, 2021 if all goes well.

Similar bills were filed by Senator Jennifer Bradley (SB 148) and Senator Jeff Brandes (SB 134) in December 2020 (see our blog post from 12/14/2020), hopefully indicating a desire by both chambers of the Florida Legislature to pass the much-needed bill that will help Florida's struggling restaurant industry among the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Tomkow's bill also includes language that would allow a restaurant with a license allowing service of wine to sell or deliver a manufacturer-sealed bottle of wine or an individual serving of wine or wine-based beverage prepared by the restaurant for off-premises consumption, again, as long as the wine is delivered in a container sealed by the licensee and the sale or delivery is accompanied by the purchase of a meal within the same order.

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About the Author

Jonathon W. Baker, Esq., President of Baker Law, P.A., has extensive experience in business, licensing and regulatory law at the local, state and federal levels. He routinely offers corporate counsel and represents clients in all stages of licensing for alcoholic beverages, food service, hemp/CBD and many other varieties of licensing. Jonathon also handles complex transactional matters such as stock purchase and assets acquisition agreements. He has years of experience representing borrowers and lenders in liquor license financing and foreclosure litigation. Outside of his law practice, Jonathon is a trained musician who has played multiple styles of guitar for over 20 years and also enjoys exercising and spending time on Florida's sunny beaches.

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