Gov Cuomo: NY bars & restaurants can no longer serve alcohol without food
NY Governor Cuomo announced today that bars and restaurants in the state will no longer be allowed to sell alcohol without food. Back in March, the NY State Liquor Authority allowed bars and restaurants to sell anything to go that they would normally sell in-house, including booze, beer and wine to go. Good as that's been for struggling establishments, in some NYC neighborhoods (like the East Village and Williamsburg) it's turned into a bit of a free-for-all party with large groups of drinkers hanging out on the sidewalks outside of bars.
“New Yorkers are outraged at these establishments,” Cuomo said at his briefing on Thursday morning. “We are getting thousands of complaints." In addition to the no-alcohol-without-food rule, there are no more walk-up drink-only orders: patrons can only order alcohol while seated at tables at least six feet apart. “If you’re not eating a meal, and you’re just drinking, then it’s just an outdoor bar and they’re not isolated at individual tables,” said Cuomo.
You can still order drinks to go as long as you're ordering it with food.
While those rules are state-wide, Cuomo said most of the complaints have been from NYC, and with that there is a third rule just for the city: "Three Strikes and You're Closed." Any New York City bar or restaurant that violates reopening rules three times will be immediately closed, Cuomo said, and if there are major violations of those rules, it can result in the immediate loss of a liquor license.
You may have read a story on Gothamist this week about DIY mask-free pandemic parties popping up around NYC. Right before this morning's briefing, Cuomo tweeted a link to the story, simply writing "Knock. It. Off. Now."
You also may remember that right before NYC went into Phase 2, Cuomo responded to a Tweet from EV Grieve of the party scene on St. Mark's Place in the East Village with "Don't make me come down there..."
Indoor dining in NYC remains off the table, and will not be part of Phase 4 reopening either (which is being decided upon today).