By the end of this week, you won't have to pair your cocktail with a warmed-up empanada, bag of chips or anything else when you order at a bar.
The New York State legislature is moving to repeal the law Governor Andrew Cuomo put into place in July 2020 requiring bars to sell food alongside drink orders, according to the New York Times. The point of it was to stop the spread of the virus by keeping people at their tables rather than mingling and attracting crowds.
The guidance was the butt of jokes, earning the moniker "Cuomo chips," and caused some issues for bars that were not equipped with kitchens or kitchen staff, hence the bag of chips you might've been thrown with your beer.
The repeal of the rule will go into effect immediately after it passes both legislative chambers in Albany, which is expected this week.
Since the number of cases is decreasing, “lifting this Covid-related restriction was something we were in the process of implementing in the coming days," Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo, told the Times.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance sees this as a step in the right direction but still feels there's much more to do to help restaurants and bars out.
"Today, we applaud the NYS Senate for its move to repeal the executive order requiring that a 'food item' be sold with alcoholic beverages at restaurants and bars," it said in a statement. "This repeal is common sense and is a step in the right direction, but we need to also responsibly loosen other business restrictions like removing the ban on barstools that prohibits customers from sitting at a bar, and modify the midnight curfew, which pushes people from regulated restaurants and bars into unregulated homes and underground events."
Among other changes to dining, Cuomo increased indoor capacity at restaurants to 50% and extended the curfew for bars and restaurants from 11 pm to midnight. On Wednesday, he announced that the midnight outdoor dining curfew for bars and restaurants would be lifted on May 17, and the midnight indoor curfew would be lifted on May 31. Seating at the bar will return starting May 3, too.
goodbye, cuomo chips— Brandon Echter (@bechter) April 27, 2021
see you later, microwaved tater tots
au revoir, grilled cheese https://t.co/6VVyMLl5nQ
Fill out our excellent (and extremely quick) Time Out Index survey right now, and have your voice heard.
Want to know what’s cool in the city? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.