A new state law makes it legal for licensed businesses to sell entire bottles of liquor to customers for them to drink on-site, otherwise known as bottle service.
The bill, authored by state Rep. Ajay Pittman of Oklahoma City, went into effect July 1.
Lawayne Cherry is the owner of Symphoni Champagne Bar in Bricktown. Prior to this bill, Cherry regularly had awkward interactions with customers who expected bottle service.
“They just did not understand. Why not?” he said. “We have a lot of people come here from out of town, being in Bricktown. They’re used to being in Dallas, Los Angeles -- bigger cities where they can enjoy bottle service.”
Customers who purchase a bottle of alcohol must finish it at the business and can only drink it inside a designated space marked by staff, according to the bill.
The change comes as many businesses hope to bounce back from lost business from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pittman said the added option of service will help Oklahoma’s entertainment industry compete with neighboring states.
“If we are going to be a top 10 state, if we are going to attract big business, if we are going to attract tourism or keep young professionals in our state, we’re going to have to make sure our entertainment and hospitality sectors are on par with other big cities,” Pittman said.
Another change to Oklahoma’s liquor laws will take effect next month.
Under the “Cocktails To-Go” Act, licensed businesses will be able to sell alcoholic drinks to-go starting Aug. 25.
A. Keith Burt, the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission, released a statement describing how businesses can prepare for the “Cocktails To-Go” Act.