Group of legislators, restaurant owners pushes for takeout beer, wine

With restaurants and bars closed to dine-in customers, important money-makers—beer and wine sales—are non-existent. 

However, Monday, restaurant owners are calling on lawmakers to change that. 

If the proposal goes through, Minnesotans who are 21 and older could soon be taking their favorite brew or wine home with them when they order takeout.

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers and restaurant owners will be coming together at the Capitol to lobby for this change.

In normal times, beer, wine and mixed drinks can account for up to half of a restaurant's sales. That revenue is gone with the current halt on dining in at restaurants.

The group of lawmakers and restaurant owners is pushing for state leaders to allow the sale and delivery of sealed containers of alcohol for off-premise drinking, similar to the way many liquor stores and some craft breweries already operate. 

Many restaurants have thousands of dollars in inventory of bottles they can't return. This change would allow them to sell that inventory and have some money to keep staff employed and pay vendors.

Last month, Gov. Tim Walz said he'd "take a look at" that possibility.

Here are the details: Lawmakers and restaurant owners will gather on the front steps of the Capitol Monday morning where they'll ask for the state to approve these takeaway wine and beer sales to help boost sales and preserve restaurant industry jobs.

The group will be social distancing during the press conference and disinfecting the microphone and other equipment.