Booze-to-go will soon be gone!
New Yorkers will no longer be able to order takeout and delivery cocktails from bars and restaurants starting Friday — as the COVID-19 state of emergency order that allowed the drinks to flow comes to an end, officials said Wednesday.
The spirits-crushing restriction will require all bars and restaurants to stop selling the travel drinks at 12:01 a.m. Friday, according to state officials.
“Licensees please be advised that with the ending of our state of emergency and the return to pre-pandemic guidelines, the temporary pandemic-related privileges for to-go and delivery of alcoholic beverages will end after June 24,” the NYS Liquor Authority tweeted.
The restriction on to-go alcohol, which also includes beer and wine, comes after members of the New York state Senate and Assembly didn’t act on a bill that would have allowed the practice to continue.
But food industry reps said scrapping takeout drinks leaves them high and dry.
“It sucks,” said Scott Wexler, executive director of the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association. “Reopening is well underway but the recovery has just begun. We’re still 300,000 jobs shy of where we were before the pandemic, the federal aid for restaurants has run out, and the rules for the state’s Small Business Relief Fund carved most restaurants out since they received federal aid, even loans.”
He added, ”Glad we’re moving past the crisis, but the failure of the Assembly and Senate to provide real help for restaurants and taverns means we face recovery with one hand tied behind our back.”
Others said New Yorkers don’t want to see takeout drinks go down the drain.
“It’s a real shame the state legislature didn’t extend alcohol to go to support struggling restaurants in their long recovery, while also keeping the policy which has been so popular with the public,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency order, which allowed bars and restaurants to sell to-go alcohol, will end Thursday.
The order had been in place since March 7, 2020, to help stave off economic losses at bars and restaurants hit by the coronavirus shutdown and restrictions.
A poll taken last month showed 78 percent of New Yorkers want to keep the rule allowing to-go drinks at restaurants and bars, according to the New York State Restaurant Association.
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