LaGrange city council says ‘no’ to cocktails to-go idea for now

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, May 12, 2022

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The LaGrange City Council mused on the idea of adjusting its municipal code to allow for the idea of cocktails to-go, however, councilmembers decided the idea was not yet worth a shot.

The discussion, held at the council’s Tuesday work session, followed the inquiry of at least two area restaurants.

Senate Bill 236, introduced in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the restaurant industry, allows for patrons at food service establishments to take cocktails to-go unless otherwise banned locally. The bill was declared permanent in May 2021.

LaGrange’s municipal code currently forbids the idea.

“We don’t allow curb service of liquor of any kind,” City Planner Mark Kostial clarified. “We allowed to-go beer and wine during COVID, but Sec. 3-29 [of the city’s municipal code] does not allow [for liquor to-go].”

The state statute puts several controls on the service, specifying that the cocktail must be three ounces or less and a possible container must have a hole for a straw. Kostial noted the enforcement aspect of the idea would be challenging from a law enforcement standpoint as the three-ounce rule may not be properly followed. 

Councilmembers turned down the idea due to a lack of consistency on the kind of container the cocktail would be contained in, though Councilmember Nathan Gaskin suggested mason jars.  He added he would consider supporting the idea in the future if he saw a sample of the containers businesses could use for cocktails to-go.