Gov. Hochul is saying "cheers" as she wants lawmakers to make "a beloved treat for consumers" legal across New York State.

Governor Kathy Hochul wants to make cocktails-to-go permanent in New York.

Cheers: Cocktails-To-Go May Be Permeant In New York


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has included language in the 30-day budget amendments to make drinks to-go permanent across the Empire State.

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"As part of our budget, I’m proposing we make to-go drinks permanent in New York! I’ll cheers to that," Hochul tweeted.

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"Thank you, Governor Hochul, for understanding the importance of drinks to-go for our NY restaurants as they continue to battle with razor thin margins and lingering COVID losses," the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) wrote on Facebook.

Cocktails-to-go has offered them a critical lifeline for New York restaurant owners since the COVID crisis, officials say.

"The entire hospitality industry is thankful that Governor Hochul once again recognizes the important role that drinks to-go has played for our businesses. From inflation to staffing challenges, our members face increasingly slim profit margins. There is a new battle each day and many will never get back the losses from the height of the pandemic. Simply put, every little bit helps. We urge the state Legislature to follow suit and make drinks to-go permanent," NYSRA President and CEO Melissa Fleischut stated.

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Alcohol-to-go was first issued by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the peak of the COVID pandemic.

The state then passed a three-year pilot program that made it legal for restaurants to offer to-go alcohol, as long as customers also ordered a "substantial" food item.

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However, the law allowing people to buy alcohol-to-go, along with food, is set to expire soon.

Gov. Hochul wants New York lawmakers to make the temporary measure permanent, saying it's been a boon to the struggling hospitality industry and a "beloved treat" for customers. She says cocktails-to-go are in her upcoming budget.

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"During the darkest days of the pandemic, to-go drinks were a critical lifeline for our hospitality industry and a beloved treat for consumers. Since then, we've legalized to-go alcohol on a temporary basis, and it's been wildly successful for bars, restaurants, and everyday New Yorkers. It's long overdue to permanently legalize to-go drinks, and in this year's budget we're going to get the job done," Hochul's office said in a statement.

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