The Association called for an end to the 11 pm curfew and the food requirement for on-premises alcohol sales in a widely distributed public statement this month:
Today’s announcement that New York State will not be lifting the curfew for food service establishments defies logic while continuing to harm businesses with no public health benefit. The Department of Health is supposedly concerned that lifting the curfew will lead to “bad behavior” – behavior they have prohibited for a full year as of today.
Food and beverage establishments have complied with every rule and regulation over the past year at great cost to them personally. They’ve demonstrated they can and will do what is required to protect the public health – they did this when the curfew was 10 pm, they’re doing it with an 11 pm curfew, and they’ll do it without a curfew.
We call on the State Legislature to end this illogical, harmful policy immediately. And while they’re at it, they can get rid of the requirement to serve food with alcohol – it’s not required in fancy country clubs so it shouldn’t be imposed on the neighborhood taverns and our customers.
We followed up that statement with a formal letter to Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie asking them to allow these restrictions to expire. There is no sign that the Department of Health is ready to let these restrictions expire and it’s unclear if the legislature wants to intervene, but it’s time for us to speak up.