Cheers! A COVID rule that helped save many New York bars and restaurants will live on.

Since the start of the COVID pandemic, many popular bars and restaurants have closed across the state. CLICK HERE to see a list of eateries from the Hudson Valley that closed down.

To-Go Alcohol Extended Across New York State

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In February, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul included language in the 30-day budget amendments to make drinks to-go permanent across the Empire State.

"As part of our budget, I’m proposing we make to-go drinks permanent in New York! I’ll cheers to that," Hochul said.

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"To-go drinks were a critical lifeline for the hospitality industry during the pandemic, and it has continued to be successful for bars, restaurants, and everyday New Yorkers since then," Hochul's office stated.

To-Go Alcohol Extended Across New York For 5 More Years

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Hochul didn't get her full wish, but the cocktails to-go law was extended for another five years.

The extension is part of the state's 237-billion-dollar budget deal.

The current law to allow to-go cocktails was to expire in April 2025. It will now last until at least 2030.

“We are making key investments to lift up every corner of this industry and support hardworking families," Governor Hochul said.

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The New York State Restaurant Association released the following statement:

On behalf of the restaurant industry, I want to thank Governor Hochul and the legislature for agreeing to include a significant drinks to-go extension in the final state budget. Now, restaurants can continue to reap the financial benefits of drinks to-go with peace of mind. A five-year extension provides ample time for restaurants to build upon their own programs and breathe a little easier knowing they can rely on another revenue stream amid increasing economic challenges.

 

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Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo first issued alcohol-to-go during the peak of the COVID pandemic.

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