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Discussions continue for to-go cocktail resolution

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 10:32 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Local bars and restaurants are keeping a close eye on a resolution passed by the Wausau Public Health and Safety Committee on to-go mixed drink orders. The resolution would be sent to the State Capitol along with a letter from the Mayor of Wausau speaking out against having the to-go orders.

Some in Wausau believe that local governments should make the choice of allowing cocktails to be sold to-go.

“Let us as communities who work with our businesses communities to figure out what the needs of the pandemic are and address them,” Public Health and Safety Committee chair Lisa Rasmussen said.

State Senator for the 12th District Mary Felzkowski (R) says it’s the state’s jurisdiction to make the decision.

“The local municipalities actually grant liquor licenses but the statutes that surround them and how they operate are controlled at the state level,” Sen. Felzkowki explained.

While that may be true, Rasmussen believes that the city would have the best chance to vet issues with the legislation that people outside of the city would not see.

“We can create policy and license provisions that work that aren’t detrimental to the community,” Rasmussen added.

Selling cocktails to-go would be very helpful to many of the local bars and restaurants that depend on alcohol for their bottom line.

“There is a larger profit margin in the sale of alcohol instead of the sale of something like the Friday night Fish Fry. So this allows them to take advantage of it,” Sen. Felzkowski said.

Some restaurants like Bob and Randy’s in Wausau say that people have asked for a drink to go in the past, and if it was passed could be very beneficial for many businesses.

“If we could in a way do that safely and legally it would be great for business. More people would want to order food to take out,” B&R bartender Erica Neterval said. “You can crack open a beer at home, but you can’t make a mixed drink as well as you think we can,” she joked.

Sen. Felzkowski hopes to get the legislation to the Senate floor by mid-February. The Wausau common council would vote on the resolution on February 9.

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