Drinking take-out cocktails on the street is no longer legal in North Wildwood.
The Cape May County city in mid-May adopted a measure allowing public consumption in its bar district when restaurants were only permitted to offer take-out service. The local ordinance was adopted shortly after Gov. Phi Murphy signed a law allowing establishments to sell to-go alcoholic drinks.
Mayor Patrick Rosenello at the time said the measure was adopted to “head off what would be an enforcement nightmare” since people were not waiting to get home to consume to-go drinks.
But with the resumption of outdoor dining on June 15, Rosenello told the Cape May County Herald that open alcohol consumption is over.
“We wanted to give the residents and visitors someplace to go to have a drink. We also wanted to give the bars and restaurants an opportunity to do some business. We were successful in that endeavor, and now we’re moving to the next phase,” he told the newspaper.
The state law that North Wildwood relied on in adopting its local measure allows bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to sell alcoholic beverages in original containers or in closed and sealed containers, and mixed cocktails in closed and sealed containers for off-site consumption.
Previously, bars and restaurants were only permitted to sell or deliver alcohol in its original container, such as a bottle of wine, a six-pack of beer or a canned cocktail.
Atlantic City and Cape May also recently adopted measures that permit public alcohol consumption.