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Pokito
Photograph: Courtesy Pokito

NYC restaurants and bars can temporarily sell to-go cocktails

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News about the fate of NYC businesses is moving fast: First, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York City restaurants and bars will all close at 8pm tonight and only be able to operate for takeout and delivery. Then came news that these establishments can now offer to-go cocktails and other alcohol—a boon for New Yorkers staying at home and for businesses that depend on liquor sales to boost their sales. According to the State Liquor Authority, restaurants and bars can only offer to-go alcohol if their business offers food.

The recent governmental mandates are an important response to stop the spread of coronavirus and a way to help flatten the curve—particularly as reports showed that this weekend, many bars continued to be packed despite CDC recommendations for social distancing.

The governor noted that this amendment is not permanent and that it is being enacted for this particular time of public health crisis and unprecedented demise of the hospitality industry. It cannot be overstated what the closing of restaurants and bars will do small businesses (and their employees—many of whom do not have healthcare), so the temporary measure is a small (but welcomed) news for businesses during a turbulent time. 

So, if you're planning to order delivery, consider adding one of our favorite cocktails to your panic buys to ease the immense anxieties we're all facing. For more inspiration of what to order, we suggest checking out our list of favorite bars. If you're looking for other ways to help, we've put together a list of restaurants and bars with merch and gift cards, measures that can help infuse some cashflow to spaces when business is tight. And remember, as always (but particularly in the face of a public health crisis), please, please tip well. 

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