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Last call: to-go alcohol for New York State restaurants ends after Thursday

The New York State Restaurant Association said to-go alcohol had provided a lifeline for restaurants attempting to survive during the COVID pandemic.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — To-go alcohol for restaurants will end after Thursday.

The New York State Liquor Authority tweeted on Wednesday that the move will coincide with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement earlier in the day that the state’s COVID-19 state of emergency will expire after Thursday.  

“Licensees please be advised that with the ending of our state of emergency and the return to pre-pandemic guidelines, the temporary pandemic-related privileges for to-go and delivery of alcoholic beverages will end after June 24,” the tweet said.

Before the end of the legislative session in Albany earlier this month, restaurant and tavern owners called on New York State lawmakers to pass legislation that would extend alcohol-to-go for at least one year.

The New York State Restaurant Association said to-go alcohol had provided a lifeline for restaurants trying to come out the other side of the COVID pandemic and lobbied lawmakers to extend it.

Not everyone wanted to-go alcohol to stick around. Liquor stores fought back against that push, citing concerns that state restaurants selling takeout drinks permanently could cut into their business.

Melissa Fleischut, the president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, expressed disappointment regarding the decision.

“While the lifting of the emergency order is a welcome milestone to the end of the pandemic, with it comes the sudden end to alcohol to-go. A permanent extension of alcohol-to-go is supported by 78{b7188976447dc8fb76bd10b2098e36eff98c6e9093d21efeb6ac4d47a857c30e} of New Yorkers, but the Legislature failed to extend it and now the Executive Order has ended. Only in New York would elected officials ignore an overwhelming majority of the public,” she said.

“Restaurants are struggling to find staff, keep up with rising costs and manage a limited supply of goods, and nearly two-thirds of the applicants will not receive Restaurant Relief Funds. New York State must do more to help, not hurt, our restaurant industry.”