We hope you enjoyed your last chance to drink take out alcohol at your local bar or restaurant. Too bad lobbyists pushed the legislature to ignore the transformation of the temporary privilege in the event of a pandemic into a permanent privilege.
Sadly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s surprise lift of all COVID-19 emergency warrants left the battered industry just 24 hours to adjust, and no way to make up for lost revenue and thousands of dollars. unsold alcohol.
But it was the State Assembly and Senate that really broke down, failing to act on any of the multiple bills aimed at expanding the emergency rules first granted more than a year ago. a year. Never mind that a New York Restaurant Association poll showed that 78% of New Yorkers want takeout alcohol to become a staple.
Legislative leaders took inspiration from liquor lobbyists who feared the practice would reduce their industry profits.
It doesn’t matter that liquor stores have done well during the closures, while small restaurants are still worried about their survival. Over Memorial Day weekend, 34% fewer people dined at a New York state restaurant compared to the 2019 vacation (and New York City was down 54%), while as Connecticut saw a 50% jump and New Jersey 29%.
Perhaps one day the legislature will begin to consider the wishes and best interests of the public, and stop letting special interests rule.