Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Temporary Liquor Permit Law Passes!

june 6, 2024

The NYC Hospitality Alliance has important news to share – we secured an important victory!

The legislation we’ve powerfully advocated for to expanded access to Temporary Liquor Permits in NYC; by eliminating the requirement that a premises held an active liquor license within the past two years to be eligible has passed both the NYS Senate and Assembly, right before the end of the legislative session!

Getting this Temporary Liquor Permit expansion law passed in both houses of the state legislature was a priority for the NYC Hospitality Alliance. It took a lot of advocacy and work!

The law reduces the time it takes for restaurants and bars to lawfully begin serving alcohol from nearly 1 year (due to backlog at the State Liquor Authority to obtain an official liquor licenses), to a reasonable 3-4 months to obtain a temporary liquor permit and begin serving, after the initial review and while the official license is processed.

BIG thanks to the prime sponsors of this important legislation, Senator Jessica Ramos, and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein for their leadership and support!

We want to give a special thanks to all our members who engaged with us on this issue. Major thanks to our incredible government affairs team at Yoswein NY for working with us to advocate and navigate state government, and to Rob and Max Bookman for their counsel on alcohol law. And thank you to all the other advocates for their partnership and support!

We expect Governor Hochul will sign the legislation into law and we’ll urge her to do so soon. We’ll alert you when she does, and then the new law will take effect immediately.  

Background on Temporary Liquor Permits:

For many years, businesses in NYC were not eligible to receive a temporary liquor license in NYC, while their counterparts across the rest of NYS were. This created frustration and financial hardships on new restaurants, bars, and workers in the five boroughs. They would have to wait up to a year to get a liquor license to begin serving alcohol. Some new businesses never opened because of this delay.

So, in 2022, the NYC Hospitality Alliance was pleased to work with the NYS legislature to make initial, common-sense changes to the law making many NYC businesses eligible for a temporary liquor permit. These changes were a resounding success – filling vacant storefronts and letting new restaurants open faster, employ people sooner, and start generating tax revenue earlier, without compromising on community engagement. However, a provision was included in that law requiring a premises to have held an active liquor license within the past two years to be eligible for a temporary liquor permit. That meant many locations that closed over two years ago, before or during the pandemic, and new construction locations weren’t eligible, still posing many hardships.

So, this legislative session the NYC Hospitality Alliance advocated to expand the availability of temporary liquor permits by eliminating the requirement that a premises had a liquor license within the past two years to be eligible for a temporary liquor permit. This makes many more locations, such as former licensed establishments that closed over two years ago and new construction, eligible to open much sooner, removing undue financial hardships on new businesses by letting them open and begin serving many months sooner.