Governor and Legislature Agree to Include Drinks to Go in State Budget

Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature reached agreement on a final state budget that includes allowing restaurants, taverns, bars, and other on premises establishments to sell drinks to go for the next three years. Here are the key provisions:

  • Restaurants currently licensed to sell wine, beer, spirits and cocktails may do so with food orders for takeout or delivery.
  • Food must be included with takeout alcohol orders. The stipulation is for a “substantial food item,” which means more than just potato chips but less than a full entree.
  • The price for takeout alcohol must be the same as for on-premises consumption.
  • Individual cocktails and glasses of wine will be allowed, served in a container with secure lid or sealed cap.
  • Full bottles of wine and spirits in their original packaging may not be sold for takeout.
  • There are, however, no limits on serving sizes or limits on the number of servings per meal or per person.

The budget bill also calls for an ABC Reform Study Commission with appointments made by the Governor and the Legislature. Representation from the many segments of the alcohol industry are to be included in the Commission. There have been several similar studies in the past and if history is any indication this commission is not expected to produce any significant results.

This new law will take effect as soon as the Governor signs it into law in the next few days. We’ll let you know when the law is signed so you can start selling drinks to go again!