Your favourite small bar can now turn itself into a fancy bottle shop and booze delivery service, according to temporary new regulations put in place last night by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation Queensland in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Similar to the takeaway-food-related changes for restaurants and cafes earlier this week, the rules apply to canned beer, wine, cider and ready-to-drink beverages, with operators permitted to sell a maximum of 2.25 litres of alcohol per order (equivalent to three bottles of wine or a sixpack of 375 millilitre stubbies). But no food is required as part of the order, and bar owners can also sell bottles of spirits (a maximum of 750 millilitres as part of the larger 2.25 litre limit).
Canvas Club co-owner Dan Rodriguez describes the move as a “lifeline” for his Woolloongabba bolthole.
“One hundred per cent,” Rodriguez says. “Just being able to do that takes a little bit of pressure off. Covering costs just with food was difficult. But now being able to do alcohol on its own, and in particular spirits – people have come in and asked for spirits [in the past] and we’ve had to tell them we’re not allowed. So the change is great.
“And we can do booze-only deliveries. It’s looking like everyone is gonna get locked in. Alcohol is the new toilet paper, so I want to get in on that.”
The point of difference for many bar owners will be the opportunity for punters to nab harder-to-get spirits at takeaway prices. Canvas, for example, stocks gins such as Mountain Distilling, Never Never and Rivo, and bourbons such as Pappy Van Winkle’s 12-year-old and Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival.