Gov. Hochul announces return of alcohol to go for NY bars, restaurants

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ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced during her State of the State address Wednesday that bars and restaurant would once again be able to sell alcohol to go, an allowance that was popular as businesses struggled to stay afloat during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To-go cocktails and alcohol delivered to your door ended suddenly in June with the lifting of the state of emergency, but establishment owners have been clamoring for its return.

"For others, hanging on by a thread, survival depends on whether they can create more space outdoors, a tough task during our New York winters," Hochul said. "To help offset these costs, we will provide a tax credit for COVID-related purchases, like outdoor heaters and seating. And we're also going to do something bars and restaurants have been asking for: to once again allow the sale of to-go drinks - a critical revenue stream during the lean times last year."

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At the time the allowance ended, the New York City Hospitality Alliance said its sudden elimination will hurt many businesses that have come to rely on the critical revenue stream. Executive Director Andrew Rigie released a statement Wednesday praising the governor's announcement.

"Cheers to Governor Hochul for announcing her support to permanently bring back drinks to go at restaurants and bars," he said. "The drinks to go policy provides critically important revenue streams to struggling restaurants and bars and is extraordinarily popular with the public, unsurprisingly. We commend Governor Hochul for her leadership, and we look forward to toasting her administration and the state legislature once this important policy is reinstated."

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