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Important Liquor Law Updates in State Budget

The NYC Hospitality Alliance is happy to announce that our advocacy, along with others, led to important liquor law updates being included in this year’s New York State budget agreement, which includes various policies. The three alcohol related policies we want to tell you about are:

1) Alcohol Service in Outdoor Dining: During the pandemic a law we advocated for was enacted that allowed restaurants to serve alcohol in non-continuous spaces like their roadway dining streeteries. The intent of the law was crystal clear that it allowed alcohol service in streeteries located opposite a bike lane. However, an unintended oversight in its drafting could be interpreted to prohibit it. That’s why, we advocated powerfully to overcome the objections of a small but loud group of anti-outdoor dining voices to have this technical correction to the law included in the budget deal, making it absolutely clear that alcohol service in streeteries on the other side of a bike lane is allowed. 

2) Alcohol To Go: The law we advocated for allowing restaurants and bars to sell cocktails and glasses of wine to go with a food order was extended for another five years. Click here to read an FAQ of the alcohol to go law.

3) Temporary Liquor Permit in NYC: The law we successfully advocated a couple of years ago allowing Temporary Liquor Permits to be issued in NYC, so new businesses can open and begin serving alcohol many months sooner was extended, which is good news. Unfortunately, a newer bill we also advocated for wasn’t included in this year’s budget. That bill would expand the Temporary Liquor Permit law in New York City, by eliminating the provision that requires the premises to have had a liquor license within the past two years to be eligible for a temporary permit. However, the NYC Hospitality Alliance will continue fighting hard to have it enacted this legislative session in 2024. 

The NYC Hospitality Alliance issued the following statement in response to the Governor and Legislature’s budget agreement: 

“We commend the Governor and Legislature for extending the popular “drinks to go” policy and for making a technical correction to the law, so restaurants may continue serving their customers a glass of wine or cocktail while they dine alfresco at restaurants participating in New York City’s new outdoor dining program. These policies are an excellent start to support the State Liquor AuthoClick hererity’s efforts to update New York’s liquor laws in a consumer and small business friendly way. We look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders this session to adopt more reforms that update New York’s liquor laws.” 

Click here to read the State Liquor Authority’s press release that we’re quoted in for a full list of alcohol related updates.