Restaurants allowed to deliver alcohol

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Having a glass of wine with dinner while staying socially distant just got a whole lot easier.

Restaurants and bars in Ontario are temporarily allowed to sell alcohol — beer, wine and liquor — with food takeout and delivery orders. This has been put into place as a measure meant to help businesses and residents get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen Matthews, general manager at Burning Kiln Winery, says this is something that they have been looking forward to.

“If someone is able to pick up their dinner and a bottle of wine at the same time, it makes it much easier with that one-stop shopping,” said Matthews.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced Thursday the new rule applies to bars and restaurants that already have a liquor licence, and takes effect immediately.

Matthews added that from a winery perspective there are few options to sell wine in Ontario.

“We can sell to the LCBO, restaurants, at farmers markets, or directly from our retail, and that’s it,” said Matthews. “At the end of the day, anything that gives us market access is good for the winery.”

The new rules remain in place until the end of 2020.

Matthews said Burning Kiln is currently accepting online orders and will directly deliver to the doorstep of anyone local.

Burning Kiln has also hired singer Felicia McMinn for their first free concert of the year.

“We know our musicians are having a hard time making ends meet,” said Matthews. “We hired Felicia McMinn to go live on our website next Wednesday night for our first Wine Down Wednesday of the season.”

Burning Kiln has partnered with Hometown Brew Co., The Combine, and Lago to do takeout that night so people can enjoy their dinner with the concert from their living rooms.

“We’re all working hard to be creative and supportive of our community in finding ways that we can all work together,” said Matthews.

It is the responsibility of the holder of the liquor license to ensure the alcohol is not sold to anyone under the age of 19, or to anyone who is already intoxicated.

The license holder or staff carrying out the delivery must have completed Smart Serve training.

There is no limit to the amount of alcohol that can be purchased, but the drinks need to be sold in sealed, unopened containers. Restaurants can offer the takeout or delivery alcohol between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Grocery stores and other retail stores are temporarily allowed to sell alcohol as early as 7 a.m.

With files from Canadian Press

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