Sen. Dodd: Cocktails-to-Go Bill Advances

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

SACRAMENTO – Legislation from Sen. Dodd, D-Napa, that would expand his previous relief for struggling restaurants and bars by broadening provisions of his 2021 law allowing the sale and delivery of to-go cocktails cleared a key committee today.

“Maintaining flexibility to sell to-go cocktails was a lifeline to restaurants and bars during the pandemic,” Sen. Dodd said. “To keep up the momentum during the recovery, we must expand this successful provision in ways that will make sense and be beneficial to all. This bill boosts small businesses and our local economy, helping to keep doors open and people employed.”

Two years ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Sen. Dodd’s Senate Bill 389, which allowed the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages as part of take-out restaurant food orders. It came as restaurants nationwide recovered from hundreds of billions of dollars in losses sustained because of lockdowns and social distancing requirements to stop the spread of coronavirus.

This year’s bill, SB 495, expands the previous legislation in important ways, removing the meal requirement to increase options for consumers and business owners. It also extends the carry-out cocktail provision to bars, which also have been hard-hit by the pandemic. In addition, it allows for the delivery of to-go cocktails from both types of businesses. Finally, the bill increases oversight of alcohol delivery by Alcohol Beverage Control to prevent underage drinking.

SB 495 cleared the Senate Governmental Organization committee today with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

“Sen. Dodd has stepped up once again for California’s restaurant community at a time of when food costs, a labor shortage, mounting debt and supply chain delays are forcing restaurants to reduce operating hours, limit menu offerings or close altogether,” said Matt Sutton, senior vice president of government affairs and public policy for the California Restaurant Association. “For his efforts we are incredibly grateful.”


Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at