Arkansas Emergency Rule Changes Regarding Alcohol Sales in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 19, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered dine-in service closed at all Arkansas restaurants and bars in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In an attempt to curb the economic impact on the restaurant and bar industry, the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control issued emergency rule amendments, which allow for the sale of beer and wine for off-site consumption until April 18, 2020.

Permissible Conduct:

  • Restaurants and microbrewery restaurants licensed to sell beer and wine under any permit issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control may sell corked or sealed bottles of wine with the purchase of food, consistent with their existing ability to allow a patron to take home an unfinished bottle of wine purchased with food.
  • Restaurants and microbrewery restaurants that are licensed to sell beer may sell sealed cans and bottles of beer to patrons with the purchase of food.
  • Restaurants may include beer, wine, mixers and set-ups with the delivery of food items.
  • Retail liquor stores may offer curbside services and delivery to their patrons.
  • Grocery stores and convenience stores may offer curbside services and delivery to their patrons.
  • Distilleries, small breweries, and small farm wineries, consistent with their existing licenses, may sell their own products for off-premises consumption and offer delivery of their products.
  • Delivery of alcoholic beverages must be by an employee of the licensed restaurant, microbrewery restaurant, distillery, small brewery, small farm winery, or liquor store.

Impermissible Conduct:

  • Restaurants and microbrewery restaurants may not sell any spirituous liquor to-go or for delivery.
  • Restaurants and retailers may not sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21.
  • There is to be no off-premise sales or deliveries within a dry county or area.
  • Private club permit holders may not sell to-go or deliver any alcoholic beverages.
  • Alcohol may not be delivered by a third-party delivery service such as Doordash, Bitesquad, Grubhub, Postmates, or Waitr.

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