The Association joined with the Business Council, the NYS Latino Restaurant Bar + Lounge Association, and the NYS Restaurant Association to launch a coalition to advocate for changes to the Alcoholic Beverage Control laws – New Yorkers Cheers for Change (nycheersforchange.com). The coalition is calling for the legislature to consider the 18 recommendations of the Commission to Study Reform of the Alcoholic Beverage Control law created as part of the 2022 state budget agreement between the Governor and the legislature.
Our work with the coalition is focused on advancing the proposal to allow bars and restaurants to make limited purchases from liquor stores. We’re also supporting proposals to give applicants for liquor licenses in New York City the same opportunity to obtain temporary licenses for alcohol sales as applicants in the rest of the state. And we support modifying the 200 and 500-foot rules to avoid extended delays in licensing when local communities do not object to locating new bars and restaurants in their neighborhoods.
These recommendations, and others, were approved by the Commission and deserve consideration by the legislature. There were also some issues considered by the Commission that were not recommended due to the stubborn opposition of entrenched interests. These issues deserve an honest policy evaluation to see how the state’s broader economic interests would be best served.
We’ve seen some encouraging signs recently including the adoption of the temporary cocktails-to-go law in 2022 and enactment of extended hours for grocery beer licensees and liquor stores last year. Governor Hochul has started the conversation in 2024 by including several ABC reform proposals in her budget. While inconsequential to your operation, by raising the subject she’s provided an opportunity for us – and our friends in the legislature – to inject our proposals into the conversation. We intend to do that and hope you’ll join us. See more info below on our 2024 Albany Lobby Day.
For too long, too many members of our industry have been hampered by outdated and out-of-touch liquor laws. Now’s our chance to change that – to update the Alcohol Beverage Control law to meet the demands of the modern era.