New York plans to make it permanently legal for restaurants to sell alcohol to go, after a temporary pandemic program became popular with take-out customers and proprietors. Proprietors used the alcohol sales to diversify their business model to make up for periodic slowdowns in dining-room sales.
The new program was included in the 2023 executive budget proposal Tuesday, following a pledge in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address Jan. 5. It's expected to go into effect immediately upon the budget’s passage by the Legislature, likely by early April.
The program was renewed several times by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo but eventually expired in June, when the last state of emergency ended.
After that, advocates tried to get a modified permanent program passed in the Legislature but were unable to advance the bills.