NY restaurants seek to extend order allowing people to grab alcoholic drink to go
There's a new call to extend New York's executive order allowing people to grab an alcoholic drink to go.
The rule has been a lifeline for many Hudson Valley bars and restaurants during the pandemic but expires soon.
The New York State Restaurant Association president says restaurants make far less money from takeout than when people come into the business, so selling alcohol to go has been a way to help bring more cash in.
The businesses have truly needed it - out of the 50,000 restaurants around the state, the group estimates more than 8,000 have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. That equates to 1 in 6.
John Solo says his White Plains restaurant could have to close without selling margaritas to go.
He owns Cantina Tacos in White Plains and calls the policy one of the most creative to help smaller restaurants as they battled the pandemic.
The NYSRA estimates thousands of businesses have been able to take advantage of selling alcohol as part of takeout.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the executive order last spring, and it's set to expire March 28.
While restaurant capacity in New York - outside New York City - is set to increase later this week, restaurant owners say that doesn't take away the importance of alcohol to go.
"This isn't over for us restaurants. We are still sort of behind the eight ball with a lot of our bills, a lot of our rents and for us to continue to survive, we're going to need that cushion for the next year or two. I absolutely would find it a little ridiculous if they cut that off," says Solo.
News 12 has sent emails to Cuomo, Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins but hasn't heard back yet.