Licensed Saskatchewan restaurants can now serve liquor for delivery or takeout

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If you’re looking to order in, you can now get a cocktail delivered to your door.

The Saskatchewan government announced Monday licensed restaurants can once again serve liquor for takeout and delivery.

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For many restaurants like Homestead Bar À Vin in Regina, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit them hard.

The restaurant does takeout. Owner Josh McLean said many of his friends in the industry have been wanting this option.

“It’s just another avenue for use to be able to recoup the loses that we’ve suffered over COVID-19,” McLean said.

The province said 900 restaurants with liquor permits across Saskatchewan can now serve a beer with a burger, whether it’s takeout or delivery, without getting a delivery permit.

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This applies to beer, wine, mixed cocktails and growlers, according to the press release from the Saskatchewan government.

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“While restaurants will be able to sell alcohol with food orders for takeout/delivery, they will not be authorized to operate as full scale liquor retailers — they cannot establish retail displays or have in-location shopping for takeout alcohol,” the release reads.

Homestead still has some questions over how this will work, but they said they believe this is a step in the right direction.

McLean isn’t clear whether his establishment would be able to sell wine as takeout, but said he hopes that is the case.

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Homestead serves private import wines that are harder to get in Regina.

“People don’t typically want to drive that 20, 30 minutes out there to get wine so for them to be able to just grab it here and us make a couple extra dollars and them save some gas money, it works out for everybody,” McLean said.

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The ongoing pandemic has hurt foot traffic for restaurants, according to Hospitality Saskatchewan, which works with restaurants and others in the hospitality industry.

“I think what we saw is that when the proof of vaccination piece came in, there was an immediate drop-off of revenues, particularly on table service,” said CEO Jim Bence.

He said restaurants are seeing less people dining out, and any way businesses can make a few extra dollars is needed.

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“Customers will still want to get to the food that they really like and there are opportunities available to have a drink with that as well to, again, is going to assist them in their revenues for sure,” Bence said.

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Restaurants were briefly able to deliver alcohol earlier this year before the rule changed. The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce said many restaurants have wanted that delivery and takeout option back.

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“They’ve been very appreciative of it,” said CEO Steve McLellan.

“It gives them another revenue stream … with winter and COVID-19, (customers) may be less inclined to go into the restaurant, this gives them a great outlet.

For Homestead, they said the move will help a lot of struggling restaurants in Saskatchewan.

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