The Law Offices of  Barton Morris

“Cocktails to-go” are an innovative way for businesses to sell more alcoholic beverages. It has been a positive way for individuals to enjoy cocktails within social districts and in the comforts of their homes. Many restaurants and bars have adopted this option for customers due to the high demand for enjoying such beverages within a social district and as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Recent laws have evolved as it relates to cocktails to-go.

New Bill in Michigan for Cocktails To-Go

Under Michigan law, a new bill has been passed to allow such establishments to have these cocktails to go on their menu. This is an innovative way for restaurants and bars to serve their customers. When customers order from the takeout menu, it can be beneficial to include these to-go cocktails, to further business revenues and sales. Licensees should see if they qualify to add these to-go cocktails to their menus. It is a positive way of generating revenue for the business and appeals to guests who are looking to order take-out. Cocktails to-go have become an efficient way for restaurants and bars to sell additional alcoholic beverages. If your establishment is considering implementing takeout cocktails, it is worthwhile to see if you qualify.

Liquor Control Code and Rules for Cocktails To-Go

A qualified licensee has certain conditions that need to be followed according to 436.1537a in the Michigan Liquor Control Code and Rule Book. Such conditions include not filling the to-go beverage ahead of the sale, complying with all the liquor codes and regulations of the liquor commission, sealing the beverage, and selling it to individuals who are 21 or older. Also, the container needs to be labeled to include that it is an alcoholic beverage and for those who are 21 or older. It is important to take active measures, as it relates to complying with liquor codes and commission regulations. This can include checking identifications to make sure the individual is 21 years or older.

It is important to take these steps, to protect your liquor license. A qualified licensee includes those who hold a license, aside from a special license, to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption. It is important to be aware of these rules, as it applies to such takeout cocktails. License holders need to be aware of the conditions necessary to have these to-go cocktails on their menus.

The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way many businesses operate, especially as it relates to hospitality businesses. The new bill that has passed is reflective of these changes, as it relates to bars and restaurants. During the pandemic, many restaurants and bars were closed, which negatively affected businesses. Such takeout cocktails were helpful to businesses since they were able to sell alcoholic beverages to their patrons, despite the lack of indoor dining and bar service.

Many individuals are supporters of cocktails to-go, as they may enjoy them from their homes. People may prefer to appreciate foods and alcoholic beverages from restaurants in the comfort of their own homes. This allows guests to drink alcoholic beverages at home from their favorite establishments. The new law offers a convenient way for customers to enjoy their alcoholic beverages. Despite the impact that the pandemic has had on bars and restaurants, many guests still enjoy the option of cocktails to-go. Many patrons are pleased with having the choice of takeout cocktails.

Expand Menu Offerings with Cocktails To-Go

Furthermore, takeout cocktails have become an innovative way of selling alcoholic beverages. Some individuals may not want to dine in various restaurants, hotels, or bars. Having the option of takeout cocktails may intrigue individuals and allow them the option to order cocktails to-go. This is a positive way for individuals to get cocktails from their favorite restaurants and bars, without dining in. Cocktails to-go gives restaurants and bars the opportunity to sell additional alcoholic beverages increasing the revenue for the establishment. It’s advantageous for business owners to include specialty drinks in their takeout cocktail menu, as it is an effective way to expand menu options for patrons.

Social Districts and Cocktails To-Go

Moreover, such cocktails to go may be consumed within social districts. A qualified licensee may seek a social district permit, if applicable within their municipalities. Applicants may apply for such social district permits with the liquor control commission. The process may include an application and approval from the local government unit as well. If a business has such social district areas, individuals may purchase these cocktails to-go and enjoy them within the social district, if applicable.

Social Districts can be found in the following cities listed by County:

Macomb County: Center Line, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, and St. Clair Shores.

Oakland County: Clarkston, Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Holly, Lake Orion, Novi, Oak Park, Oxford, Pontiac, Royal Oak, and Wixom.

Wayne County: Belleville, Dearborn, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Park, Northville, Trenton, and Wyandotte.

This allows customers the option to enjoy alcoholic beverages while partaking in indoor or outdoor dining and walking within the social district boundaries. For a full list of social districts across the state click here.


The Law Offices of Barton Morris has experience assisting businesses with cocktails to-go. We can assist businesses and individuals with the process, so they add such cocktails to-go to their menus. A beneficial way for businesses to increase revenue. Since the bill has been passed, it has had a positive influence on hospitality businesses.  If you have questions or concerns about such takeout cocktails, reach out to the legal counsel at The Law Offices of Barton Morris. We can assist with any questions or concerns and advise businesses on the applicable liquor codes and commission regulations, as it relates to takeout cocktails.

If you are interested in having these takeout cocktails added to your menu, it is in the businesses best interest to see if you qualify. The new bill has changed hospitality businesses across Michigan. Often, establishments may not have available reservations or seating, due to their capacity. It is beneficial to have these cocktails to-go on menus, which allows customers the option to enjoy their favorite cocktails, even if indoor seating is not available. Being aware of these recent Michigan laws is useful to your business and establishments offering the opportunity to flourish and expand. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity for your business, especially with the new law changes as they interest customers and your competitors alike.