Some Colorado restaurants and bars will be able to indefinitely offer alcohol for takeout and delivery if a bipartisan bill passes in the legislature this year, although a major liquor store group is so far opposing the plan.

“Consumers love it,” bill sponsor Rep. Colin Larson said. “Restaurants are really enjoying it. It’s keeping them afloat.”

In March, Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order that allowed restaurants and small businesses to do liquor to-go as a means of making up for lost indoor dining profits during the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers passed another bill last year to allow the practice until July 2021, but the bill hasn’t taken effect because the pandemic is ongoing and the governor’s executive order has been extended.

The new bill would remove the repeal date and add additional restrictions.

Larson, a Littleton Republican, said given consumer demand, it’s surprising it hadn’t happened before.

In addition to helping businesses during the pandemic, Larson said it will also help them during a time of recovery when social norms may have changed and consumer confidence for dining out still may not be as high as it was before COVID. Plus, he said, the bill aims to give restaurants certainty with their business plans.