To-go cocktails are coming back to New York. In her first State of the State address, Governor Kathy Hochul put the return of takeout alcohol on her list of legislative priorities for the year.
“We’re also going to do something our bars and restaurants have been asking for: to once again allow the sales of to-go drinks, a critical revenue stream during the lean times last year,” the governor said. “So cheers, New York.” On Twitter, the governor posted this dramatic reenactment of the news:
Initially introduced in March of 2020 through an emergency executive order by former governor Andrew Cuomo, the wildly popular program came to an unceremonious end this June, when the order expired. Ever since, restaurant-industry advocates have been calling for a revival of the program, which was, again, extremely popular.
Hochul’s support is welcome news for almost everyone (lobbyists for the state’s liquor stores being a significant exception). “We commend Governor Hochul for her leadership, and we look forward to toasting her administration and the state legislature once the policy is reinstated,” wrote the NYC Hospitality Alliance’s Andrew Rigie in a tweeted statement.
But the governor’s support alone isn’t enough to make permanent to-go cocktails a reality. For that to happen, Gothamist explained last month, both houses of the State Legislature will have to pass a bill allowing it, and while those bills have been introduced, there’s no guarantee when — or if — they’ll pass.
Still, the Hochul endorsement is a reason for cautious optimism, which, at this point, is the only kind there is. Cheers, New York.