The Daily Press - Jessica Nolte
Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced Sunday morning that it was removing seven Russian-sourced vodka brands from its shelves.
The state-run liquor store system attributed the decision to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s call on Saturday for the state to take “decisive action” in support of Ukraine.
Sen. Louise Lucas also tweeted Saturday morning, calling on Youngkin to order the removal of all Russian products from the ABC stores.
The vodka brands to be removed include Beluga, Hammer & Sickle, Imperia, Mamont, Organika, Russian Standard and ZYR.
The stores will not be removing products such as Stolichnaya and Smirnoff, which are Russian-themed but not produced in Russia. Smirnoff is owned by Diageo, which is based in London, and is manufactured in Illinois.
Virginia ABC said in a Facebook post it would be reviewing its other products to determine whether they have origins in Russia.
Leaders in Ohio, Utah and New Hampshire have made similar calls for liquor stores to remove the products, according to a report from CNN.
The report said the move is largely symbolic since less than 1% of vodka consumed in the United States is produced in Russia.
Youngkin has also ordered the state’s Department of General Services to review state procurement of goods and services involving Russian companies.
The governor also called for Norfolk and Roanoke to end their sister city partnerships with Russian cities.
Jessica Nolte, 757-912-1675, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning Tuesday, March 1, all 396 Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) stores will return to normal operating hours. All stores will open by 10 a.m. every day, apart from some stores which regularly open later on Sundays. Store closing times, which were not part of the month-long adjustment, will remain the same. Closing times vary by store.
“With COVID-19 case numbers once again falling in Virginia, we are now able to return to our normal operating hours,” said Travis Hill, chief executive officer of Virginia ABC. “We truly appreciate our retail team’s dedication and flexibility throughout this pandemic, and we look forward to serving our customers with expanded hours soon.”
All ABC stores have been observing reduced hours since Jan. 24, opening daily at noon in response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases making staffing difficult.
As an alternative to in-store shopping, customers can place orders online at www.abc.virginia.gov for curbside pickup or home delivery in nearly all areas of the commonwealth.
ABC continues to monitor information regarding COVID-19. Future decisions related to ABC store operations will be made based on the best information available to ABC and implemented on a case-by-case basis.
News Release Contact:- Virginia ABC Communications - (804) 213-4413
by: Dean Mirshahi
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginians will be allowed to get cocktails to-go and alcoholic drinks delivered to them until 2024 after the General Assembly passed a bill that one lawmaker called a “lifeline” to small businesses.
The bill, introduced by Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax), creates a third-party license that allows the holder to deliver alcoholic beverages bought from businesses with licenses from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. The legislation received bipartisan support in the legislature and will now go to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk.
Last year, Del. Bulova’s House Bill 1879 allowed takeout and delivery of beverages until July 2022. The new legislation from Bulova during this session extends the sunset on the legislation until July 2024.
Cocktails to-go extended in Virginia until July 2022Bulova’s bill makes way for the third-party delivery license and has provisions establishing container and training requirements.
State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Fairfax) said before Tuesday’s 37-3 vote that the bill came after the Virginia ABC studied the issue and shared a report with lawmakers, a directive that was included in the 2021 legislation.
The new measure from Bulova also directs the Virginia ABC “to collect data regarding the compliance of third-party delivery licensees with the provisions of the bill.” The Virginia ABC will have to report the data to lawmakers by Nov. 1, 2023.
New law going into effect keeps to-go alcohol available in VirginiaState Sen. John Bell (D-Loudoun) introduced an identical bill in the Virginia Senate, which passed on a bipartisan vote. Sen. Bell said Tuesday that he worked with Del. Bulova on the legislation and asked senators to pass the measure because it’s a “lifeline to many small businesses.”
Former Gov. Ralph Northam granted restaurants the authority to sell cocktails to-go during the pandemic after business owners expressed concerns over revenue loss.
“Not only does this measure provide increased convenience for consumers, but it also gives bars and restaurants a stable source of revenue as they work to recover from the pandemic,” David Wojnar, senior vice president and head of state public policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said in a statement Tuesday.