New York State Restaurant Association calls on elected officials to extend takeout cocktail program once more
One year after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the hospitality industry continues to grapple with takeout cocktail legislation. The state’s temporary takeout cocktail program, which allows restaurants and bars to sell wine bottles and cocktails to-go, has been extended multiple times since the start of the pandemic, while elected officials have introduced legislation to keep the law in place after the pandemic. The latest version of the law is set to expire on March 28, 2021.
Ahead of that deadline, the New York State Restaurant Association is calling on elected officials and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend the policy once more. “Allowing restaurants to offer alcohol for takeout and delivery has been a lifeline for many in the restaurant industry during this difficult time,” NYSRA president Melissa Fleischut said in an email to Eater. “While we hope that alcohol to-go eventually becomes permanent, an extension is our immediate priority.” Eater has reached out to the governor’s office for more information.
Cuomo’s change to the State Liquor Authority rules went into effect on March 16, 2020, when on-site food and drink sales were shut down. The program was an immediate hit among restaurant owners and the customers. In June, restaurateurs owners shared that takeout cocktails were one of several sources of income keeping their businesses afloat. The following month, a survey from the NYSRA found 86 percent of New Yorkers wanted the program to remain in place, even after the pandemic.
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