You are reading

Hochul Says Drinks-to-Go to Make a Return

Alcoholic beverages will soon be available for takeout and delivery (Roman Kraft via Unsplash)

Jan. 7, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

Drinks-to-go will be making a comeback.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that alcoholic beverages will soon be available for takeout and delivery, marking the return of a provision that was popular for struggling bars and restaurants during the height of the pandemic.

“We’re… going to do something bars and restaurants have been asking for,” Hochul said during her first State of the State address Wednesday. “To once again allow the sale of to-go drinks, a critical revenue stream during the lean times last year.”

The temporary measure ended on June 24, 2021, having been in place for around 15 months to help sustain bars and restaurants. Both the New York State Senate and Assembly had introduced bills that would have extended to-go cocktails for at least another year, but neither legislative body had brought them to a vote before the end of the legislative session on June 10.

The provision had proven crucial for many establishments — particularly at the beginning of the pandemic — after they were ordered closed for in-person patronage as part of the state’s lockdown strategy to help stop the spread of the virus. It became less vital to the survival of bars as capacity limits were lifted.

Governor Kathy Hochul, pictured, has announced that alcoholic beverages will soon be available for takeout and delivery (Photo by Darren McGee, Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

Nevertheless, Hochul touted the measure as an important factor in reviving the battered industry — although she did not give a timeline as to when the provision will return.

She also said bar and restaurants would soon be able to get a tax credit to purchase heaters and seating for outdoor dining purposes, to help them generate some much-needed cash.

“So many small businesses were pushed to the brink,” Hochul said. “Thousands of bars and restaurants – the souls of our neighborhoods – have had to close.”

The news of the pending return of to-go drinks was welcomed by many bar and restaurant operators, including Nick Murphy, owner of Bar 43 in Sunnyside.

“It is definitely good for the industry and it’s not going to infringe on liquor stores losing out on sales,” Murphy said. “It’s great for bars that specialize in cocktails.”

Murphy said that the measure would help, although it would not have a major impact on his bottom line.

He also said that is difficult for many establishments to offer to-go cocktails at present since there is a shortage of cups in which to serve them in. Many bars, he said, are unable to get them.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.