By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4) – The state House passed a bipartisan bill to extend the period of time that restaurants and bars can offer takeout and delivery of alcoholic beverages that initially began during the coronavirus pandemic last year. The measure, which also offers an increase in the limits of alcohol one can purchase, now heads to the state Senate.

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The executive order from Gov. Jared Polis that allows takeout alcohol is set to expire this summer. This bill would extend takeout alcohol for five years.

“Restaurants, bars and other retail businesses are the heart of our local communities and major employers across the state,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, in a statement. “They have been dealt a particularly harsh blow by the pandemic, and many have turned to alcohol takeout and delivery as a critical source of income during tough times. As we work to build back a stronger Colorado, we have to ensure that our state’s small businesses have the support they need to bounce back and thrive. Extending takeout and delivery alcohol and allowing for towns to utilize common consumption areas for a few more years is a common-sense way to lend bars and restaurants a hand.”

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“We are pleased that the bill now includes an increase in the limits of alcohol a restaurant can sell for takeout and delivery to two bottles of wine, two six-packs of beer, and one liter of spirits per transaction. It shows that legislators are listening to Coloradans, as 85% of adults over the age of 21 support alcohol to-go from restaurant. It is extremely popular with the voting public and has tremendous upsides for Colorado. Picking up an alcohol to-go order from a local restaurant gives residents the chance to support their communities, explore creative cocktails, and enjoy the hard-to-find wines and spirits that restaurants can provide. It’s win-win. For Colorado to come out of COVID-19 on top, we must work to support each other,” said Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, in a statement.

Jennifer McRae