TACOMA, Wash. — It’s a great day for local Tacoma businesses with the passage of Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1480 by the Washington State Legislature, extending the temporary alcohol sales privileges for restaurants and bars for another two years.
This effort to explore carry-out beverages was born right here in Tacoma when, as the Mayor and City Council representative for downtown Tacoma and other business districts in our community, we learned such flexibility might allow many businesses to survive and recoup some investment in products sitting on their shelves as they were closed for in-person dining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working with the Liquor and Cannabis Board last year, they heard this call for flexibility from Tacoma, and temporary rules were enacted to allow restaurants, bars, distilleries, wineries, and caterers to sell alcoholic beverages for curbside and takeout service and delivery. This truly saved countless businesses in our community and we are proud to have fought for this flexibility. Now, with the passage of this important legislation, these common-sense allowances are extended through the end of June 2023. It is our sincere hope we can take information over this time to learn how to make these rules permanent and support our local industries as they provide craft products customers want.
We applaud the Washington State Legislature for their swift passage of legislation that supports the business community during these challenging times. In addition to being a source of local jobs, businesses like restaurants and bars are a vital part of community and they contribute greatly to the character of our city. Now that the legislation has passed and is awaiting Governor Jay Inslee’s signature, we look forward to continued collaboration with the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board as they study the impacts of these temporary rules over the next two years. We believe that we can incorporate the experiences of our business community into future policy discussions in the hope of striking the right balance between ensuring safe alcohol service and economic recovery.