‘Brunch bill’ will allow alcohol sales earlier on Sundays

Updated June 14, 2016 7:44 PM
By Michael Gormley  [email protected] 



ALBANY — The “brunch bill” was served Tuesday in Albany and sports fans and others will soon be able to order alcohol at restaurants and bars before noon on Sundays.

A deal struck between the governor and legislative leaders would slash much of the remaining 80-year-old “blue laws” that once banned alcohol sales on Sundays.

Under the deal, taverns and restaurants statewide will be able to serve alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays and could apply for a limited number of permits to serve drinks beginning at 8 a.m. outside New York City. A business could apply for up to 12 permits a year.

The deal also provides breaks for alcohol sellers to help the growing wine, beer and distillery industry in New York.

The Assembly and Senate still will have to pass legislation before the deal can become law.

“Cheers!” toasted the New York State Restaurant Association that lobbied for the measure, noting the rise of European soccer-watching events and the growing pastime of “Sunday-fun day” bar-hopping.

“Allowing customers to order their beverage of choice on Sunday mornings will generate revenue for the hospitality industry and please their patrons,” said Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the trade group.

Spokesmen for faith-based organizations declined comment.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the deal will “overhaul this state’s archaic blue laws” and boost the hospitality field.

“This agreement . . . will undoubtedly be a brew for better business in New York state,” said Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), leader of the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference. He said the deal eliminates burdens and regulatory obstacles for many small businesses.

The brunch bill was agreed to in part because of pressure from soccer fans flocking to taverns to watch European matches broadcast live and for the games played in London by NFL teams including the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants.


The measure is one of the final statewide efforts to gain agreement in the final days of the 2016 session scheduled to end late Thursday.