Senator Brad Hoylman Introduces Legislation Allowing Restaurants And Bars To Offer Wine, Beer And Cocktails For Take-Out And Delivery After COVID-19 Crisis Ends

Subject to Community Board & Municipality Input

NEW YORK—Today, Senator Brad Hoylman announced new legislation that would continue to allow bars and restaurants to offer wine, beer and cocktails for take-out and delivery for two years after the current State of Emergency ends, while providing community boards and local government with the power to conduct oversight that ensures an establishment is operating safely. 

Senator Hoylman said: “Let’s raise a glass to New York’s hospitality industry. If we want our favorite bars and restaurants to survive the crisis, we’ve got to help them adapt. My new legislation will allow bars and restaurants to provide beer, wine and cocktails for take-out and delivery for two years after the crisis ends, giving these establishments a much-needed lifeline while New York slowly returns to normal. L’Chaim!”

Senator Hoylman’s legislation would allow bars, restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and other licensed establishments to sell alcoholic beverages for take-out and delivery for two years after the state disaster emergency expires. Under this legislation, an establishment would be able to sell the same products for off-premises consumption that they are currently licensed to sell for on-premises consumption. 

The bill includes multiple safeguards to ensure all sales are safe and legal. It would require all alcoholic beverages to be sold in closed/sealed containers, to be accompanied by the purchase of food, and to comply with open container laws. It would also require the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to conduct regular outreach to municipalities and community boards to solicit comment, and would allow the SLA to hold hearings to decide whether to suspend or revoke a licensee’s ability to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption in response to complaints from community boards or municipalities. 

The bill requires the SLA to report to the Governor and the Legislature on the implementation of the law, and to hold public hearings across the state to hear from local communities about how the law has affected them.

Camila Marcus, founding member of ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants), said: "ROAR, a coalition of 75+ NYC based restaurateurs dedicated to the recovery and reopening of the industry and bringing back the 850,000 jobs the industry supports statewide, wholeheartedly supports Senator Hoylman’s bill to continue to allow alcohol service for take out and delivery. This is an essential need for restaurants struggling to determine if they can even consider reopening and bringing back the hundreds of thousands of workers employed by the industry. We stand ready to work with the State and City to make sure that we can reopen, recover, and bring back desperately needed jobs."

New York’s hospitality industry is facing enormous economic pressure from COVID-19. According to a recent report from the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB), restaurant revenues declined by nearly 90% immediately after the New York on PAUSE regulations took effect. This has led to the closures of large and small restaurants, from the iconic Gem Spa in the East Village to Coogan’s in Washington Heights. Nationwide, at least 5.5 million restaurant employees have lost their jobs since the pandemic began.