Gov. Hochul pushes for permanent to-go cocktail at bars, restaurants

Hochul made the announcement on X and said it is part of her budget proposal.

Emily Young

Feb 16, 2024, 11:14 AM

Updated 100 days ago

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Gov. Kathy Hochul is pushing to convert a pandemic-era policy into a permanent one.
If the Legislature sides with the governor, New York will become the 21st state in the nation that would allow to-go cocktails.
It's an effort to provide some extra income to restaurants that never fully recovered from the pandemic.
"As a business owner, you're going to take the position, of alright its another revenue stream, another way to make money," said Scott Fratangelo, a restaurant owner.
And in this Amazon world, where convenience is everything, they can provide another service to their clientele.
"That's where I think we win," said Fratangelo.
Fratangelo is the owner of L'inizio in Ardsley. He says despite the bump in business he may end up seeing as a result, he struggles with cheering this effort on.
"You have people that own wine and spirit shops and you're not looking to hurt anybody. They're not selling food we are, they're selling only spirits and now were dipping into their spirit game," he said.
This includes people like Tony Russo, owner of Aries Wines and Spirits in White Plains.
"We understand their plight just like we hope people understand our plight. We're small businesses, we're the rock of the community," said Russo.
Russo says this new law would amount to losing a few sales here and there, he's not so concerned. But he is concerned that restaurants will turn into liquor stores.
"If someone wants to buy a to-go drink with their chicken parm that's what this is supposed to do, not to allow them to sell a full bottle of tequila," he said.
That, he says, would be extremely detrimental to his business .
Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Westchester representative Carole Sears says this makes drinking and driving a whole lot easier.
"As long as it is sold to people who are 21 or over and that it is well sealed and put into the trunk or the back of the car wherever it is that the driver cannot reach it," she said.
Gov. Hochul says she hopes to make this law permanent in this year's budget which will be finalized in March.


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