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Happy alcohol take-out restaurants grab Hochul’s attention

ALBANY – The hospitality industry, which has pleaded with the state to re-allow bars and restaurants to sell alcohol with take-out and delivery orders, was encouraged on Wednesday to hear the cited measure among Governor Kathy Hochul’s priorities to be accomplished over the coming year.

Although it was not included in the text of his state-of-the-state address that was distributed beforehand, Hochul verbally mentioned take-out alcohol, illustrating what a reporter from the pool said. in attendance was said to be the only audible reaction from the crowd in person to a variety of plans and goals that the governor described. The response was a “chuckle,” the reporter said.

In accompanying material for the State of the State Speech (see page 115), Takeout Alcohol is one of six initiatives in what is described as a billion dollar proposal to help small businesses across the state.

Calling on alcohol to become a “critical revenue stream for New York City bars and restaurants during the pandemic,” Hochul’s proposal said she would like to make the provision permanent, although such a measure requires adoption. of the state legislature.

Before the pandemic, restaurants and bars were allowed to sell take-out beer only. Under an executive order during the pandemic state of emergency, former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in March 2020 began allowing restaurants and bars for sale, with takeout / delivery orders, every alcoholic products that they were allowed to serve internally, including cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, wine by the glass and bottled, and alcohol by the bottle. The order was renewed monthly for over a year.

Alcohol lapsed in late June after the legislature, faced with stiff opposition from the liquor store lobby, failed to pass a bill that would have continued to take alcohol to take away on a one year trial basis. Although the bill contains concessions to opponents, including banning sales of full bottles and limiting portion sizes in restaurant takeouts, it never made it past committee stage before the adjournment of the legislature.

Take-out liquor supporters applauded Hochul as he renewed attention to the issue.

“This incredibly popular and critical measure would add a much needed revenue stream to the restaurant industry as we continue to struggle through the third year of the pandemic,” Scott Wexler, Executive Director of The Empire, said Wednesday. State Restaurant & Tavern Association, in a statement. He continued, “For the benefit of restaurant employees, employers and their customers, we hope to see a permanent extension adopted as soon as possible.”

Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, said her members were happy with Hochul’s plea for take-out alcohol, noting that 78% of the public believe it should be restored, according to a survey carried out for the commercial group.

“These are tough times that just don’t relax. The restaurant industry is hit again by another wave of COVID-19, colder weather restricting dining options and widespread staffing issues,” said Flsichut in a press release Wednesday.

Calling last year’s bill “better than nothing,” Fleischut said the restaurant association was concerned about some of its provisions and hopes to see a less restrictive version passed, but is encouraged by the firm’s support. governor to measure in principle.

“We will fight (…) to allow alcoholic drinks to take away and delivery,” she said.


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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement