By Tia Lynn Ivey
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Georgia restaurants were forced to close in-person dining services by decree of the Governor in April. To help local restaurants stay profitable, the Madison Mayor and City Council passed a beer and wine takeout allowance for restaurants to utilized while reduced to carryout and curbside services only.
As local restaurants begin to reopen dining rooms, the Madison Mayor and City Council discussed whether or not the temporary allowance for beer and wine carryout from restaurants should continue at last week’s regular meeting.
The council decided to continue allowing restaurants to offer beer and wine carryout services to patrons for the foreseeable future.
The council originally made allowance for beer and wine carryout when restaurants were forced to close and could only offer takeout services.
While restaurants are now allowed to open, council members noted that many are taking things slow and cannot serve as many patrons due to social distancing policies that reduce the number of customers allowed in a space.
“If the council is fine with letting this continue, the restaurants could use all the help they can get right now,” said City Manager David Nunn.
Madison Mayor Fred Perriman favored extending the beer and wine takeout option for restaurants.
“These are difficult times,” said Perriman. “We want to give the businesses time to get built back up again and this helps with that.”
City official Ashley Hawk noted that the State of Georgia has not mandated the takeout beer and wine allowance for restaurants end any time soon.
“The state is allowing it to continue temporarily,” said Hawk.
Councilman Ed Latham stressed that beer and wine carryout should only be allowed if a customer also orders food from the restaurant.