The Bethel City Council will be considering a resolution requesting the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office to prohibit sales of alcoholic beverages by means of curbside pickup and home delivery unless the sales are accompanied by the sale of a meal.
Resolution 20-09 is on the City’s agenda for their July 28th, 2020 regular meeting and is sponsored by council member Michelle DeWitt.
The resolution states that on October 1st, 2019, the City of Bethel voted to adopt Local Option to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages except through a restaurant or eating place license. And, Alaska Statutes authorizes a restaurant or eating place license to sell beer and wine for consumption only on the licensed premises.
On March 11th, 2020, Governor Mike Dunleavey declared a public health disaster emergency due to the spread of COVID-19. On April 14th, 2020, the Governor suspended a number of provisions of Title 4 of the Alaska Statutes which regulates alcoholic beverages in response to the public health disaster emergency.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, on April 16th, 2020, issued emergency regulations regarding the Governor’s suspension of the Title 4 statues permitting restaurant and eating place establishment licensees to allow for curbside pickup of alcohol and delivery of beer and wine when included with an order of food.
These emergency regulations were effective through August 13th, 2020 until the ABC Board extended the date through November 15th, 2020.
On June 18th, council considered Resolution 20-06 which stated that with the suspension of AS 04.11.100 which authorizes a restaurant or eating place license to sell beer and wine for consumption only on the licensed premises and implementing regulations (regulations being allowing curbside pickup of alcohol and delivery of beer and wine when included with an order of food being delivered by a licensed restaurant or eating place establishment) directly contravenes the intent of the local option vote, which was to prohibit the sale of beer and wine except for consumption on the licensed premises and “by temporarily enabling restaurant or eating place licensees to sell alcohol beyond the scope of their license.”
Resolution 20-06 did not pass.
On May 22nd, 2020, the Governor lifted all corona-virus related restrictions on bars and restaurants allowing them to reopen without capacity limits just as they were prior to the virus, says Res. 20-09.
“The Bethel City Council supports our small businesses and would like to find a solution that upholds the community’s vote to operate under local option, but also provides local businesses the revenue they need to remain open to the public,” the resolution states. “By permitting the continued sales of alcohol by curbside pickup and delivery, but only with the purchase of a meal with the retail price of at least fifty percent of the retail price of the alcohol purchase, the Bethel City Council will protect the People’s local option vote by only permitting the sales of beer and wine from a restaurant and eating place license when a meal is also purchased, while supporting continued operation of our local small businesses.”
If this resolution is adopted, the Bethel City Council will request the Alcohol Beverage Control Board to permit home delivery and curbside pickup of alcohol sold by restaurant and eating place licensees within the City of Bethel, only if the order of beer or wine accompanies an order of a meal, prepared by the licensee or the bona fide restaurant on premises.
As defined in the regulations, a meal shall mean: food purchased at a retail price that is at least fifty percent of the retail price of the alcohol purchase accompanying the order.
Resolution is on council’s consent agenda.