The drinking portion of our local citizenry will likely rejoice at Governor Kathy Hochul's recent decision to change the way that liquor is sold and bought around town.
This past weekend, the politician officialized a bill that allows liquor and wine stores to open from 10am to 10pm on Sundays, a pretty significant shift from the currently allowed hours of operation of between noon and 9pm.
As explained in an official press release, New York City grocery stores will also now be allowed to sell beer, braggot, cider and mead from 3am to 8am on Sundays. Before this week, that was entirely prohibited under state law.
The legislation goes further still, diving into the ways that liquor is stored at facilities and making life a bit easier for sellers all around.
“Across New York, breweries, distilleries and other alcoholic beverage businesses are creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity,” said the Governor in an official statement. “I'm proud to sign this legislation that will modernize the laws governing the sales of alcoholic beverages in New York.”
The changes have been a long time coming, specifically addressing century-old post-Prohibition "blue laws" that have been limiting the sale of alcohol on the weekends and following former Governor Andrew Cuomo's "Brunch Bill." In 2016, the politician signed into law a bill that allowed restaurants to start serving alcohol starting 10am on Sundays.
As explained by Gothamist, the development is the result of the formation of a 16-member commission “dedicated to studying the state's alcohol laws and proposing ways to modernize them.” Earlier this year, the group released 18 proposals in total that are now being tackled in the state Legislature using a “piecemeal approach.”
Needless to say, New Yorkers looking for a very-early-morning weekend drink probably never had a hard time grabbing one, but these new laws will certainly help foot traffic at local businesses around town.