In her very first state of the state address earlier today, New York Governor Kathy Hochul officially called for the permanent legalization of to-go cocktails as part of her $10 billion small business recovery plan.
"Thousands of bars and restaurants, the souls of our neighborhoods, have had to close," said Hochul during her address. "We're also going to do something bars and restaurants have been asking for: to once again allow the sale of to-go drinks—a critical revenue stream during the lean times last year."
The news has undoubtedly delighted business owners across town who reaped the benefits of selling to-go drinks during the pandemic, a practice that allowed them to stay afloat back then.
"Cheers to Governor Hochul for announcing her support to permanently bring back drinks to go at restaurants and bars," said New York City Hospitality Alliance executive direction Andrew Rigie. "The drinks to-go policy provides critically important revenue streams to struggling restaurants and bars and is extraordinarily popular with the public, unsurprisingly. We commend Governor Hochul for her leadership and we look forward to toasting her administration and the state legislature once this important policy is re-instated."
The original plan was enacted as an executive order by former Governor Andrew Cuomo back in March of 2020. The provision, however, expired this past June. Restaurants and bars have been clamoring for its return ever since.
Details regarding the proposal are still murky but it seems like the guidelines have been re-instated for now. To become permanent, the state legislature will have to step in and change the law.
The Governor's proposed plan also deals with the staggering costs involved in setting up outdoor restaurants and bars. "To help offset these costs, we'll provide a tax credit for COVID-related purchases," the Governor explained, specifically mentioning outdoor heating systems and seatings.
It's clearly time to dust off our list of best to-go cocktails available in New York right now.