The state announced today that restaurants and restaurant-like establishments can reopen this Wednesday, May 27th. This means that restaurants and similar businesses that have access to a retail food establishment for full meals can reopen. Access means a nearby restaurant for food delivery/take-out or a food truck. Businesses must also comply with the state’s reopening guidelines, please CLICK HERE for a full list of mandatory guidelines. However, several counties have been granted variances which may differ from the state. CLICK HERE for a complete list. Local municipalities may choose to adopt the state guidelines if the state is less restrictive. If the state guidelines are more restrictive, the local variance will be maintained. Please see below for a full list of resources. As always, please reach out with any questions you have.
**This is a rapidly evolving situation so please keep in mind information is ever changing. I will continue to send up to date information as it becomes available**
URGENT! Please submit feedback on Restaurant Reopening Guidelines!
Deadline is Friday 5/22 at noon!!
Tavern League of Colorado Comments on Restaurant Reopening Guidelines:
- Universal social distancing guidance have included 6 feet of distance. We request tables whether indoors or outside be 6 feet apart;
- Depending on the size of the restaurant, 8 feet of spacing takes capacity down to closer to 10%-20%, making it impractical to reopen;
- Bar tops often provide built-in social distance between the server and customer, we request that customers be allowed to sit at the bar while social parties maintaining 6 feet of distance from each other:
- Please provide the science behind requiring all businesses to close dining spaces at 10:00pm
- With limited capacity for service, restaurants will need to remain open during their normal operational hours in order to accommodate all patrons in a safe and compliant manner;
- Many small restaurant are seat yourself. If tables are properly spaced out and marked, self-seating shouldn’t be a problem and will reduce additional person to person contact.
- As long as games are conducted within a social group and thoroughly disinfected afterwards, they should be allowed;
- Games are a significant source of revenue for these businesses at a time when they are in desperate need of sustainable revenue.
- Personal protective equipment is in short supply and it needs to be reserved for frontline workers;
- We request that unless an employee is working in the kitchen, they not be required to wear gloves:
- Diligent hand washing will be strictly enforced.
Take-Out and Delivery of Alcohol Extended! & Guidance on Safer-At-Home Ordinance
Colorado is currently in the first phase of transitioning from Stay-At-Home orders to Safer-At-Home. This means that certain non-critical businesses can begin to reopen with restrictions. As of today, May 1st, merchandise retail can reopen if implementing best practices for health and safety. There has been a fair amount of confusion regarding the word “retail” so please note this does not apply to retailers of food and beverages for on-premise consumption. Unfortunately, bars and restaurants do not have a date certain for reopening fully. The Governor’s Office is continuing to monitor the data in order to make the most educated decision on when it is safe to reopen dining rooms at a limited capacity.
The Liquor Enforcement Division has issued a bulletin offering guidance on the Safer-At-Home Ordinance and what it means for the on-premise industry. Please CLICK HERE for the complete bulletin and see below for a summary and additional COVID-19 resources in Colorado.
Take-Out and Delivery of Alcohol Extended:
- Under the Safer-At-Home Order, businesses licensed for on-premise consumption can continue selling alcohol for take-out and delivery;
- This emergency allowance will continue through May 30, 2020 and be reevaluated at that time;
- All licensees selling alcohol for either take-out or delivery must continue to comply with previously issued LED regulations.
Clarification on “Curbside” Sales:
- A previously LED bulletin referenced the ability of certain retailers to engage in “curbside” sales;
- There was some initial confusion that this included on-premise licensees;
- It does not;
- Alcohol cannot be sold curbside which is considered to be sidewalks, streets, alleyways or vehicles;
- All sales must occur inside the liquor licensed premise or through an online portal.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offers assistance to businesses on how best to comply with Safer-At-Home - CLICK HERE for more information (scroll down to the middle of the page);
- Each city and county in Colorado may apply for a variance to the Safer-At-Home order. CLICK HERE to see if your city or county has extended the order or approved variances;
- Specific questions about public health issues can be made HERE.
One Time Pick-Up “90 Day” Return of Malt and Fermented Malt Beverages
LED recognizes that COVID-19 came when bars and restaurants were gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness. This created a significant amount of unused products. Because of this, LED is allowing manufacturers and wholesalers the ability for a one time pick-up of any sealed packed or untapped keg products that were sold or have a freshness date of February 16th and the expiration of the Stay-At-Home ordinance. Please CLICK HERE for the complete bulletin and see below for details. The Stay-At-Home ordinance has officially expired so please utilize this one time pick-up if you can. Contact your wholesaler and manufacturer with any questions about their process.
- Manufacturers and wholesalers are allowed a one time pick-up of any sealed packages or untapped keg products that were sold;
- OR have an out of freshness date between February 16th and April 27th;
- The Safer-At-Home Ordinance is in place so please utilize this pick-up;
- Wholesalers and manufacturers are not required to accept returns and can still adhere to their distribution agreements;
- If an on-premise retailer chooses to remain closed either for take-out or in-person dining once that resumes, the manufacturer or wholesaler will provide the retailer with an invoice listing product for future replacement and designate the invoice as “COVID-19 pick-up”;
- The retailer will need to give the manufacturer or wholesaler three weeks’ notice;
- The product replacement must be the identical type and brand. If the manufacturer or wholesaler cannot replace the same product then a product of equal or lesser value may be substituted.
The Governor released an Executive Order this evening that allows all bars and restaurants to sell alcohol for both delivery and takeout. This comes on the heels of his more in depth announcement this morning that detailed various actions the state is pursuing to ease the burden off of businesses and citizens. Click here for the Executive Order.
The order includes:
- Must operate a licensed on-premise retail establishment that sells food, or brewery that operates an approved salesroom, and provide alcohol beverage in sealed containers;
- Must hold one of the following on-premise retail license types: Beer and Wine, Brew Pubs, Club Licenses, Distillery Pubs, Hotel & Restaurant, Lodging and Entertainment, Tavern, or Vintners Restaurant;
- Must sell alcohol with the sale of food (food and alcohol purchases must be reflected on the same receipt or transaction), or brewery with an approved salesroom;
- Must provide only products manufactured on-site, if a licensed as a distillery pub or brewery (may not provide mixed drinks);
- Not violate the delivery requirements of the sealed container law****
- Sell to only those individuals who are 21 years of age or over (individual placing the order must provide their name, date of birth, and delivery address) and verify information upon delivery; and
- Retain all records regarding the delivery of alcohol beverages.
***It is the Liquor Enforcement Division’s interpretation that a ‘sealed container’ does include a to-go cup with a lid***
The Tavern League along with other industry associations have requested other forms of relief such as extending the amount of time retailers have to pay wholesalers for alcohol purchased to 90 days as well as deferring the collection and property and sales and use taxes for 60-90 days.
Things are quickly evolving and I will keep you up to date as information becomes available. As always, please call or email me with any questions you have.
I know you’re all dealing with worst case scenario right now. Please know, we are doing everything we can to achieve any kind of relief. The Tavern League, along with other on-premise associations are speaking with local and state leaders and working with the Department of Labor and Employment on various ways to lessen the impact you are all experiencing.
Governor Polis has said Colorado will not be exploring relief efforts so we are focusing our effort on the Federal government. A few different options that have been suggested are an economic stimulus package (both the US House and Senate are working on this and should vote on them this week), allow for temporary interest-only payments on Small Business Administration Loans ad mortgage payment deferrals which would allow both businesses and employees to defer mortgage payments.
Colorado has a variety of unemployment resources available.
Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet
**This is extremely important**
This will trigger Federal government disaster relief funding to Colorado. Please fill this worksheet out and send it to John-Michael Hill at Denver’s Economic Development Office: firstname.lastname@example.org. He will forward them on.
Needless to say, you’re all extremely concerned about how to take care of your employees during this time of uncertainty and closure. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment provides resources for individuals looking for work.
- Connecting Colorado is a job search database that individuals can access for statewide jobs as well as connect with career professionals to assist with resumes and interview skills.
- Unemployment Benefits
- Job Attached Unemployment: This is for those employees that are expected to return to their most recent job after a 16 week separation.
**Please know with so many people applying, websites may be down and extended delays are likely**
This is uncharted territory and I know everyone is extremely worried. Please stay strong and hang in there! As always, do not hesitate to call or email me with questions at email@example.com or 720-231-5777.
Due to COVID-19, Governor Polis has announced he will be following Denver’s model of restaurant closure which is all dine-in services will be suspended beginning today at 8:00am. Take-out and delivery will still be available. The order will remain in effect for 30 days but it is likely the state will model Denver’s timeline until May 11. The state will also be enforcing the CDC’s guidelines of recommending gatherings of 10 people or more be canceled. This is a rapidly evolving situation and I will keep you up to date on the latest announcements and changes.
In the meantime, please see below for resources related to unemployment and economic impacts. I will also be sending a resource guide to assist your businesses and employees during this uncertain time.
- Estimated Disaster Economic Injury for Business: This will aide in triggering federal disaster relief funding. Please fill out the form and submit it to John-Michael Hill at Denver’s Economic Development Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Job Attached Unemployment
- Job Attached Unemployment
- File for Unemployment
- Colorado online food stamps and other various sources of assistance programs
Given that this has already had a significant impact on the industry, please email me at email@example.com and share the effects this is having on your businesses. This will help when speaking to lawmakers and regulatory agencies on potential next steps and ways to help.
I know how difficult this has been on everyone involved in the industry. This is certainly an unprecedented situation and we will do everything we can to ensure a positive outcome. Thank you for your commitment to the industry and please stay strong!