Governor Hochul again calls for to-go liquor sales for restaurants

Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office
Governor Kathy Hochul announces new actions to ensure a more efficient and effective State Liquor Authority, including a proposal to permanently legalize to-go drinks in Brooklyn.

Gov. Kathy Hochul was joined by restaurant workers and lawmakers this morning to announce plans to boost staff and funding for the State Liquor Authority and make to-go liquor sales permanent in New York.

Brooklyn restaurant owner and board member of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, Angela Terry, introduced Gov. Hochul by stressing the difficulty of obtaining a liquor license in New York and talked about how to-go liquor sales has saved restaurants throughout the pandemic.

“Passing legislation for temporary liquor licenses for the city has been a game-changer for my business,” Terry said. “Our sales increased, it boosted staff morale, and it has given us hope that our business will be successful.”

Hochul followed Terry by stating the importance of bringing back the New York City vibe and the necessity of reversing 100-year-old prohibition laws. Hochul said temporary liquor licenses were a success, as well as the innovation of to-go drinks.

“New York is not just open for business, we are open for the best businesses. We are excited to welcome everyone back,” Hochul said.

Governor Hochul announced that she will be allocating more funds to the State Liquor Authority so that the agency can hire more employees. This will lower the processing time for liquor license applications which will allow small businesses to open their doors faster.

Hochul has proposed adding $2 million in spending to the SLA’s budget to include the hiring of at least 30 full-time employees.

Flat and reduced budget and workforce numbers over the years have had an impact on the SLA’s efforts to significantly reduce processing times – which currently stand at 20 to 26 weeks, Hochul said.

Additionally, Hochul announced that she is interested in permanently instating legalized to-go liquor. The governor also showed interest in allowing the sale of alcohol in movie theaters.

State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley; Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso; Sen. Jessica Ramos; and New York City Council Member Chi Ossé all followed Governor Hochul and commended her on her assistance for making it easier for small businesses, the State Liquor Authority, and New Yorkers to get a liquor license as well as to-go drinks.