Updated: June 12, 2021 07:18 AM
Created: June 12, 2021 07:11 AM
ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — A push to make Alcohol-to-Go permanent at restaurants and bars did not get extended on the final day of the legislative session.
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed restaurants and bars to serve customers "to-go" alcoholic beverages. This was put in place to help businesses survive the shutdown.
In May Assembly Bill 7732 was introduced, which would let restaurants and bars keep selling booze for another year.
However, the bill was not voted on in the final days of the legislative session.
Governor Cuomo's executive order on "Alcohol-to-Go" is set to expire on July 5. Right now, the governor's order could be extended on a month-to-month basis.
The failure to pass the bill was met with a lot of frustration from the restaurant and bar industry.
Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association released a statement:
“The restaurant industry is frustrated by the inaction from the State Legislature. Restaurants lost billions in sales over the last 15 months. Many closed their doors forever. Those still open are digging out from a deep hole. But the State Legislature made a choice. They chose to protect liquor stores’ antiquated monopoly, even as they’ve enjoyed record sales during the pandemic — and that’s with alcohol-to-go from restaurants allowed. Special interests and their flimsy arguments won out over mom-and-pop restaurants that simply want to survive and bring more employees back.
“But the industry won’t be deterred by this setback. We’ve faced worse. We know that 78% of New Yorkers want alcohol-to-go to become permanent, and we’ll keep fighting. As Governor Cuomo has said, we aren’t supposed to just put everything back the way it was and pretend the pandemic never happened. That fantasy world doesn’t exist. In the meantime, we urge the Governor to continue extending the Executive Order allowing alcohol beverages with takeout and delivery as he continues his fight to reimagine, rebuild and renew a stronger New York.”
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