Carry-out alcohol can carry on, Hochul announces

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul is throwing bars and restaurants across the state a lifeline, allowing them to sell alcohol to-go once again.

News10NBC learned what this will mean to one local restaurant owner. We also found out why some Rochester area politicians have a few concerns.

During the height of the pandemic, restaurants were temporarily allowed to sell carry-out alcohol to help them attract more customers. The provision that allowed for the sale expired back in June.

"We’re also going to do something our bars, and restaurants have been asking for, to once again allow the sale of to-go drinks," Hochul said. "A critical revenue stream during the lean times last year. So cheers New York."

Max Gordon, owner of The Hideaway on Park Avenue said this is an added benefit when you order to-go food from a restaurant, and get to have a complete meal.

"The ability to grab a cocktail to take home or a bottle of wine adds to what makes restaurants great to eat in, and the ability to bring that home adds to the atmosphere that makes it that much more special when you get to go food," Gordon said.

He went on to say take-out alcohol will work in the same way it did earlier in the pandemic.

"It needed to be sold with food. You can grab a six, or 12 pack of Heineken on your way home to save you a trip to the grocery store, but it would have to be purchased with something of a side of fries, or hamburger, or something along those lines," Gordon said.

New York State Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D, 56) said he has a few reservations.

"I’m also concerned about our local liquor, and wine store. Many of whom are family businesses in the Rochester area. We want to make sure that they’re not hurt in the process," Cooney said.

Assemblyman Harry Bronson (D, 138) is the chair of the Economic Development Committee. He says this issue would come before him before being approved.

"So we have to take a close look at that. It was controversial last year. Didn’t make it through so we have to take a close look at that one in particular," Bronson said.

So far there’s no word yet when to-go alcohol says will begin again, or if it will be brought back permanently.