ELKTON — In an effort to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19, also colloquially called Coronavirus, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced on March 19 that the state would allow those who make and sell alcohol to deliver or sell for the purpose of off-site consumption.
In the Executive Order, Hogan allows the sale of off-premise consumption — contingent on presentation of an ID and sealed container — subject to social-distancing per the Maryland Department of Health and all applicable laws that apply to sales, licensing, etc.
The order will remain in effect until the end of the state of emergency and the announcement of the end of the health emergency (or unless otherwise rescinded).
Some Cecil County restaurants and bars are taking advantage of the moratorium of sit-down customers by offering take out and delivery — or closing their doors during this time to working on indoor fixes and renovations. The order allows businesses to recover some of their revenue, though local business owners say it is not a substantial amount.
C3ntral Tavern, 107 E Main St., took its first alcoholic delivery just after 2 p.m. on Friday after an interview with the Cecil Whig.
Beckie McMahon of C3ntral Tavern estimated that the COVID-19 closures could be responsible for at least 35 percent of lost sales.
"We're 100 percent concerned," McMahon said regarding the limited operations. "We are very very fortunate that we're known for our hot, fresh food... but, we're still a tavern that depends on happy hour and serving drinks with dinner."
Though Hogan's edict is much appreciated, McMahon doesn't foresee delivery matching lost sales compared to normal.
"I think all of us are going to have a lot of questions for ourselves for how to operate and reopen [once the health emergency is over]," McMahon said.
On Main Street, the Elkton businesses owners are continuing to ban together during this time. Elk River Brewing Co. is currently doing take-out and delivery of their products through Central Tavern. Customers can also place orders online through Elk Brewing website.
"We feel the support from this community on a daily, weekly basis," McMahon said. "This community is really tight knit and work together. Main Street all works together ... that's a constant for us, we work very very well together and we're continuing that trend."
Though the COVID-19 health emergency seems to be changing by the day, local restaunteers and brewers are attempting to keep up — looking to the end of the viral tunnel.
"It's foolish for us to think this will be a two week thing," Lewis said. "We should be ready for the long haul and ready to pick up like we [were before]."