Pennsylvania is notorious for having some of America's strangest liquor laws. Established in 1933 following the repeal of Prohibition, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has kept a tight leash on the distribution and sale of alcohol throughout the state for decades.
Ever wondered why you can find a BYOB restaurant on almost every street corner in Philadelphia? In most counties, only one alcohol distributor is permitted per 30,000 inhabitants and only one liquor license is granted per 3,000 residents. For many independent restaurant owners, going BYOB is the only way to meet a high demand for liquor without a license.
Other head–scratchers include the fact that if just one person at your table is under 21 years old, you'll have to be at least 25 to order yourself a drink. Meanwhile, you'll have to plan ahead if you're looking to stock up on liquor for your next function as spirits can only be purchased at state–run liquor stores—not to mention that there are only 600 of these shops spread across PA's 46,000 square miles.
Prohibition ended almost a century ago, but its presence still lingers on in Pennsylvania’s antiquated liquor laws. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many aspects of our normal lives to a screeching halt, it somehow managed to speed up the modernization of the Keystone State’s alcohol laws.
With the passage of a new law enacted to aid restaurants and bars that are struggling with the financial ramifications of the pandemic, your favorite locations that both have restaurant liquor licenses and sell food are now permitted to sell wine, beer, or mixed drinks to go.
As of June, over 56 establishments were taking advantage of this policy. And while this is not a complete list, we're breaking down which of your favorite local restaurants are now dishing out grab–and–go cocktails.
In addition to a collection of seven specialty cocktails, Attico is also offering drink kits and large–batch cocktails for pick–up. Grab a few of your friends and splurge on their make–your–own Mimosa Kits or keep it classy with an individual Old Fashioned. On a hot summer day, ordering their El Flamingo Raspberry Rum Daiquiri—and throwing it in the blender with some ice—is a must.
A UCity favorite for many Penn students, Copabanana's margaritas are now available for pick–up. Whether you're looking to take home a $9 single margarita or a 64 oz. growler, you can sip on all of your Copa favorites from the comfort of your home. And make sure to order one of their gourmet burgers while you're at it.
Another UCity staple, Distrito, is also hopping on the takeout drinks bandwagon. With their renowned 32 oz. pitchers still on the menu, Distrito is your one–stop–shop for margarita night. By picking up one of their Taco Bars as well, your at–home Distrito experience will be complete.
We all love Double Knot for its top–notch Japanese cuisine, but did you know their to–go cocktails are just as buzz–worthy? The Ming Mule and the Thai Punch are just two of Double Knot's alcoholic options that you can sample between sushi rolls.
Rosy’s Taco Bar
A Philly–area go–to for margaritas and Mexican food, Rosy’s is offering up beer, specialty cocktails, and cocktail kits (for those of you looking to embrace your inner mixologist), to go. Just a short walk from campus, Rosy's is in a prime pick-up location to get your steps—as well as your sips—in.
This Tuesday, indoor dining returned to the city of Philadelphia. And while your dining experience might be a little bit closer to normal, restaurants are still only operating at 25% capacity. If you’re not able to snag a table, or are feeling weary about the return to indoor eating, you can still enjoy some of your favorite cocktails from the comfort of your own couch.