Restaurateurs, bar owners and their supporters, aided by state legislators, are renewing their push to make “drinks-to-go,” a measure established by executive order in 2020, permanent under state law.
Under drinks-to-go, a restaurant can deliver, or make available for takeout, an alcoholic drink along with food — something not allowed before the COVID-19 pandemic except for beer. Owners, most of whom are in debt, say the money derived from offering drinks-to-go is essential for their recovery.
The measure has been strongly supported by Gov. Kathy Hochul, who said at a news conference, “This is what kept people afloat during those dark, dark months and months and years of the pandemic.” However, it was dropped from a package of recovery bills earlier this month in Albany. Advocates hope they can resurrect the bill and pass it as part of the next New York State budget within the next few weeks.