Gov. Newsom outside a restaurant
Gov. Gavin Newsom outside Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco on Thursday. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

Restaurants across California will be able to continue offering a profitable service that evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic — selling alcoholic beverages to-go — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday

Newsom also said the state will also encourage local jurisdictions to permit restaurants and bars to continue operating outdoors on sidewalks and in parking lots, although such operations are still subject to local zoning regulations.

The Governor made the announcement while visiting Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco.

“California’s restaurants help create the vibrant and diverse communities that make California the envy of the world,” Newsom said. “As the state turns to post-pandemic life, we’ll continue to adapt best practices that have helped businesses transform customer experience for the better.”

Outdoor dining and the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages emerged during the pandemic in an effort to help restaurants struggling to survive under strict COVID regulations, which forced indoor dining to close for months.

Newsom noted that while the sale of to-go alcohol will be able to continue, such sales will have to be coupled with food purchases.

The extended rules announced by the Governor will also allow bars to continue partnering with food trucks, catering companies or restaurants to sell meals with alcoholic beverages.

“With new opportunities and support for businesses large and small, and the California can-do spirit that has carried us through the past year, we will come roaring back from this pandemic,” Newsom said.

The California Republican Party scoffed at Newsom’s announcement, deeming it a hollow gesture to an industry that “suffered more than most under Gavin Newsom’s overbearing shutdowns.”

City News Service contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.