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New York restaurants will no longer be able to sell alcohol to-go

The governor lifted the state of emergency declared at the pandemic’s outset and starting Thursday, the popular moneymaker for many operators is coming to an end.
Cocktails to-go
Photograph: Shutterstock

New York state is ending to-go sales of alcohol by restaurants and bars Thursday, putting the brakes on a popular pandemic concession as the governor lifts the state of emergency that has been in place there since the pandemic began.

The New York State Liquor Authority posted the update on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, noting “the temporary pandemic-related privileges for to-go and delivery of alcoholic beverages will end after June 24.”

The ending of the state of emergency also puts an end to the executive order that permitted alcohol delivery in New York.

To-go sales of alcoholic beverages was a life raft for many bars and restaurants that were shut down for on-premise consumption amid the coronavirus crisis. Operators around the country came up with creative ways to package and sell individual cocktails and kits.

Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation to turn his state’s emergency pandemic measure into law, allowing restaurants to continue selling beer, wine and mixed drinks with to-go food orders.

A number of other states are eyeing similar legislation to make the temporary allowances permanent, a move that seems to be popular with restaurant operators, consumers and state governments that are reaping the tax bonuses.

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the surprise announcement that he was ditching all COVID-era restaurant restrictions effective immediately.

The Liquor Authority’s statement on Twitter drew a large number of negative responses, including one who complained about the timing, “Very helpful 24 hour notice,” the commenter said. “I’m sure no licensees have planned purchases based on the status quo or anything like that!”

 

 

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