As part of the Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget, the new bill was passed by the New York State Senate and Assembly, making the sale and delivery of to-go cocktails legal for three years.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul explained that to-go drinks were a critical revenue stream for bars and restaurants in the state during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping many small businesses to pay their rent or mortgages.
Hochul said: “New York’s nightlife and hospitality industry is second to none, and by allowing the sale of to-go drinks we will continue to support the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
“Cheers to both Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for their help in making this change, which will drive business for the hospitality industry and be a lifeline, helping them come back stronger than before.”
Under the new bill, restaurants and other retail licence holders will be able to sell alcoholic beverages to-go as long as they are in sealed containers and with food orders.
Sales of to-go cocktails should also only be carried out during a restaurant’s normal hours of operation.
The licensee, or the agent or employee of the licensee making the delivery, must ensure that the consumer has a valid ID to verify their identity and age at the time of delivery.
Additionally, the budget creates a temporary state commission to study reforms to modernise the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law in New York State.
The new bill will soon be sent to Governor Hochul for signing.