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New York May Keep Its To-Go Cocktail Law Once Restaurants Open Again

News Food + Drink
by Nickolaus Hines May 26, 2020

Tacking a drink onto your restaurant takeout or delivery order could stay for the long run in New York. State senator Brad Hoylman recently introduced a bill to allow bars and restaurants to sell wine, beer, and cocktails for takeout and delivery for two years after New York’s COVID-19 State of Emergency ends.

The bill would allow any drinks sold for on-premise consumption to be sold for off-premise as well. The move would help restaurants and bars facing an uncertain future of restrictions and limited seating capacity — alcohol sales typically make up 20 to 25 percent of restaurant profits.

The restaurant industry has been one of the most impacted by coronavirus shutdowns as owners have tried to pivot to a delivery-based business. Difficulties will continue even when people are allowed inside their favorite restaurants and bars again, as seen by safety attempts like bumper tables and plexiglass shields around booths.

Needless to say, the surging popularity of takeout and delivery will likely remain, so people might as well be able to complete their order with a beverage of choice.

“Let’s raise a glass to New York’s hospitality industry,” Hoylman said in a press release. “If we want our favorite bars and restaurants to survive the crisis, we’ve got to help them adapt. My new legislation will allow bars and restaurants to provide beer, wine and cocktails for take-out and delivery for two years after the crisis ends, giving these establishments a much-needed lifeline while New York slowly returns to normal. L’Chaim!”

The bill, which has the backing of restaurant recovery groups, will be sent across the state for hearings before a vote.

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