City clarifies alcohol rules

Some of the beer choices from The Gruff restaurant at Second and Greenup streets.

New order gives refunds for event cancelations, 2:30 a.m. licenses
New order gives refunds for event cancelations, 2:30 a.m. licenses

COVINGTON, Ky. - Refunds of temporary alcohol licenses and 2:30 a.m. permits are part of an executive order issued in the City of Covington to clarify rules on restaurant alcohol sales handed down by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The order is one of a number signed by Covington Mayor Joe Meyer to help local businesses stay solvent and protect jobs during the global health crisis.
Previous orders created a temporary loan program to help businesses with rent and/or mortgages, pushed tax filing and payment deadlines back by 90 days, and waived permit fees commonly associated with development, construction, and renovation projects.
“Covington’s restaurants and bars are part of what makes our city thrive,” Meyer said. “We know that restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus are hurting many of them, and we’re taking steps to mitigate that economic impact and help them to survive this unprecedented time.”
Under Meyer’s executive order, the City agrees to:
  • Refund application fees for City of Covington temporary ABC licenses for special events canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, such as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
  • Refund on a prorated basis the annual 2:30 a.m. permit fee for the period that the bar can’t use the 2:30 permit.
Any business requesting a refund or that has questions about the refund should contact the City’s ABC Aministrator, City Solicitor Michael Bartlett, at
Meyer’s executive order also clarifies on a local level temporary rules allowing the sale of alcohol by restaurants for consumption off-premises.
Gov. Beshear ordered bars and dining rooms to close March 16 as part of “social distancing” practices designed to slow the spread of the highly contagious respiratory disease. However, the governor also announced that restaurants could sell food via carryout and delivery and that alcohol could be included in the sales, with restrictions.
Covington’s order specifies those restrictions:
  • Alcohol must be in closed, sealed original containers.
  • Alcohol must be purchased with a meal, and not in bulk quantities.
  • Any person delivering food and alcohol must be at least 20 years old.
  • Delivery vehicles do not need to be marked.
  • It’s illegal to sell or deliver alcohol to anyone under 21.
Covington’s executive order can be seen HERE.
Recent state legislation (Senate Bill 150) that has now been signed by Gov. Beshear further clarifies that existing licensees may sell alcohol by the package in sealed original containers or by the drink in a covered or sealed container. Additional answers to frequently asked questions arising during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the State ABC’s website HERE.
City staff will continue to evaluate its new rules against any future action taken by Gov. Beshear and the Commonwealth, and future action will be taken as needed.

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