First call: Sunday brunch liquor sales move to 10 a.m.


Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau Chief5:23 p.m. EDT June 14, 2016


ALBANY — New Yorkers may soon be able to have a mimosa during early Sunday brunch.

New York leaders on Tuesday announced they have agreed to allow restaurants to sell alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays to accommodate brunches. Currently, New York law bans alcohol sales before noon on Sundays.

The deal also allows restaurants to get up to 12 waivers a year to sell booze at 8 a.m. on Sundays in areas outside New York City.

The new Sunday law would take effect 60 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo Cuomo signs it.

“Fans of brunch, soccer, football, holidays and all things Sunday-funday can now raise a glass to thank the governor, Senate, and Assembly for their agreement to allow alcohol service starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings,” said Melissa Fleischut, president of the state Restaurant Association, in a statement.

The measure has been in the works for weeks and is part of several new proposals to loosen New York’s century-old blue laws that restrict alcohol sales.

The agreement also includes broadening retail sales by alcohol producers and lowers fees for wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries.

“This agreement to overhaul this state’s archaic blue laws will build upon these ongoing efforts by knocking down artificial barriers for restaurants and small businesses and helping this industry grow even stronger,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Restaurants have raised concerns about having to wait until noon to sell alcohol on Sundays as customers have wanted, for example, to have Bloody Mary drinks with their brunches or have a drink during an early Sunday lunch.

Other changes agreed to by legislative leaders and Cuomo include allowing craft manufacturing licenses through one application; letting wineries fill customers’ growlers; and allowing wineries and farm wineries to let customers take home partially finished bottles of wine.

Another change includes lowering fees for craft beverage salespeople and wholesalers. Also, liquor stores would be able to sell gift wrapping and gift bags.