To help support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the town of Mancos is temporarily loosening its open-container laws, although there will be some restrictions.
As of July 10, restaurant patrons will be able to purchase alcohol in to-go cups from restaurants and enjoy drinks at the corner of Grand Avenue and Main Street — during weekend evenings. The decision aims to allow local eateries to sell alcoholic beverages while still complying with the governor’s recent order to close bars again to in-person service.
“The Town is doing what it can to help give local restaurants and businesses a boost,” Mancos Economic Development Coordinator Rachael Marchbanks told The Journal in an email.
Additional picnic benches have been added to the site (also called the GMC lot), where patrons can consume to-go drinks and food. The town is leasing the lot, which was selected because it was seen as a nice and central location, Marchbanks said.
“At the request of local businesses, the town purchased extra picnic tables and opened up town spaces (for yoga and other activities) and relaxed liquor laws to allow restaurants to increase their footprint to safely serve more people,” Marchbanks said. “For many restaurants, liquor sales make up 30% or more of revenue.”
Under the new rules, the town will provide restaurants with specific cups and lids to use for alcohol sales, along with wristbands to show that consumers have been verified by a business as being at least 21 years old.
No outside alcohol can be brought to the lot, though, and the hours of alcohol consumption there are Friday through Sunday, 4-10 p.m. In order to enjoy the takeout alcohol option, patrons must also purchase food with their order, Marchbanks said.
The town of Mancos will provide extra trash cans, but businesses are expected to keep the area clean.
“We are glad we can work with the businesses to help them expand their footprint and allow customers to patronize their establishments yet still be able to social distance,” said Mancos Town Administrator Heather Alvarez.
All Mancos restaurants that have a liquor license are participating, according to Marchbanks.