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New Orleans Restaurants Can Resume Selling Takeout Alcohol

Restaurants are once again permitted to offer to-go drinks, but bars remain closed entirely

Louisiana Pulls Back On Reopening Economy As Coronavirus Hospitalizations Rise
Restaurants can sell to-go drinks in New Orleans again, but bars remain closed
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The office of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced today that effective tonight, September 25, restaurants in New Orleans can resume selling alcoholic beverages through drive-thru, takeout, and curbside pickup. Bars in the city will remain closed entirely for the time being.

The ban on to-go drinks has been in place since July, when the Mayor prohibited the sale of takeout alcohol from restaurants and closed bars for even curbside service, which was permitted under the Louisiana governor’s statewide guidelines. The move was part of an effort to curb crowds gathering in the French Quarter and elsewhere around the city, but was criticized for taking away a crucial source of income for restaurants. Known for its unique laws permitting the purchase of “go cups,” New Orleans became one of the only places in the US where you couldn’t purchase alcohol to-go from restaurants, as cities adopted temporary or permanent new rules in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

For now, only restaurants are allowed to resume to-go alcohol sales — bars remain closed. Restaurants can sell to-go drinks between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., which is the last call for alcohol sales at restaurants statewide. New Orleans remains in phase 2 while the rest of the state is in phase 3, allowing restaurants to open at 75 percent capacity and parishes that meet positivity rate benchmarks to open bars at 25 percent capacity. A city spokesperson said this week that further restrictions could be eased as early as late next week.

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