As reported in the Buffalo News, the Commission to Study Reform of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law has recommended changing the law to allow restaurants, taverns, bars, and other on-premises licensees to purchase limited amounts of wine and spirits from liquor stores. The Commission’s Report, issued on May 1, also makes several sensible recommendations for revising the licensing rules that will reduce barriers to entry to the hospitality industry for small businesses.
Now that the Commission’s work is complete it will be up to the Assembly, Senate, and the Governor to decide what to do with the recommendations since they are non-binding. If past history is any guide most of these recommendations will be tossed aside due to opposition from within the industry or opposition from legislators who are not interested in improving business conditions for the industry.
We were successful getting the Brunch Bill passed allowing on-premise sales before noon on Sunday – the only recommendation from the last ABC Reform panel to be enacted into law – so we know how to get things done. We’ve been laying the groundwork for allowing you to make purchases from liquor stores over the past few years. Now that it has the endorsement of the ABC Reform Commission we’ll seek to build on that momentum. With a late state budget and barely one month until the end of the legislative session we’ll get started right away and see how much progress we can make this year. Stay tuned!