Alcohol “to-go” service from restaurants and bars is forbidden again, perhaps in part due to pressure from a liquor store trade group — headed by the owner of Michael-Towne Wine And Spirits — that viewed it as cutting into their business.
Since March of last year, licensed restaurants and bars were given the permission to offer the takeout and delivery of alcoholic drinks under a 30-day executive order that had been renewed every month throughout the COVID-19 “State of Emergency”. With the lifting of that state of emergency, the order has expired, and non-beer-delivery alcohol sales are once again against the law. The NYS legislature failed to pass any bill that would expressly permit licensed restaurants and bars to offer “to-go” alcohol sales before the end of its recent legislative session. The NYS Assembly bill is currently languishing in committee.
According to The Albany Times-Union, one trade group in particular, the Metro Package Store Association, was quite strenuous in their opposition to the bill being acted upon:
It distributed a call to action last week that included a sample letter that member businesses could modify and send to their legislators. It states flat opposition to enacting takeout alcohol into law and direly predicts that allowing bottles for takeout from restaurants would “destroy our business,” although that measure was removed from the bills before the MPSA letter was sent out.
In addition to that, the letter claimed that restaurants and bars were “well on their way to recovery”, and that liquor stores were at a disadvantage, since most close at 9pm.
The Executive Director of the Metro Package Store Association is Michael A. Correra, who also owns local liquor store Michael-Towne Wine And Spirits (hours currently 11am-9pm, 12pm-6pm on Sundays). Its Board of Directors also includes Matthew LaSorsa of Heights Chateau Wine And Spirits. So whether you are for or against “to-go” alcohol service, now you know who to thank!