New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to legalize the sale of ‘to-go’ alcoholic drinks

On Wednesday during her State of the State address, Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said that her administration would once again be permitting the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages from restaurants and bars. She said legislation would be proposed to permanently legalize the sale.

Following the address, Hochul took to the internet to tweet out the news. “Cheers, New York!” she wrote. “We’re going to once again allow the sale of to-go drinks – a critical revenue stream during the lean times last year.” She included a GIF of herself with a glass as flashing text read “Cheers.”

The state allowed the sale of those types of beverages temporarily under broad emergency powers earlier in the pandemic. Once Gov. Andrew Cuomo left office in June 2021, and after he declared the end of the state’s COVID-19 emergency, the period for the legal sale of to-go alcoholic drinks came to a close.

Although the process to permanently legalize to-go drinks could take several months, it could potentially be critical to provide an additional stream of revenue for struggling restaurants who have been hit hard from closures. During the pandemic, the ability to sell carry out alcohol helped many restaurants keep their doors open at all.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance emailed a statement to Restaurant Dive supporting Hochul’s proposition to permanently legalize to-go alcohol sales.

“Cheers to Governor Hochul for announcing her support to permanently bring back drinks to go at restaurants and bars. The drinks to go policy provides critically important revenue streams to struggling restaurants and bars and is extraordinarily popular with the public, unsurprisingly,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance in the statement.




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