Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that as part of the new state-mandated take-out and delivery-only rule, restaurants and bars would also be allowed to sell alcohol to-go. "Whatever you could order [in] the bar or restaurant or distillery or winery you can purchase through takeout," he said. "We hope that goes a long way toward alleviating any economic hardship." Today, the State Liquor Authority clarified the new rules, which added a few major stipulations to the proceedings—including the fact that alcohol can only be sold in conjunction with food.
You can read all the new SLA rules here, but to summarize: all restaurants, bars and manufacturers (breweries, distilleries, etc.) have officially been barred from providing dine-in service of any kind through April 15th. For the first time, wine and liquor can be sold to-go by any licensed establishment. However, those licensed establishments can only sell any alcoholic product provided that "the sale of each container shall be accompanied by the purchase of food." That means that you can't just order a cocktail-to-go on its own, and a lot of cocktail and wine bars that don't sell food (or can no longer offer those items) will be excluded from the new to-go opportunity.
As for the delivery system: any alcoholic beverage "sold for off-premises consumption... may be sold in any closed and any sealed original container of any size."
In addition, whether the establishment is delivering via Seamless, another third party or their own delivery person, that deliverer must have a copy of the liquor license with them. Alcohol can only be sold during the on-premises hours of operation of the establishment, and anyone in violation of the new rules can face a fine of up to $10,000 for retail businesses and up to $100,000 for manufacturers as well as “suspension, cancellation, or revocation of its license.”
During a press conference Tuesday morning, Cuomo said of the measures to shutdown non-essential businesses, “If you are upset by what we have done, be upset by me." He noted that out of all the emergency actions taken, the most complaints he’s gotten have been about bars being closed: “Your local mayor did not close your bars, your restaurants, your school...I did.”
On Sunday night Mayor Bill de Blasio had given establishments until Tuesday morning to prepare for an end, but at Monday morning's press conference, Cuomo said his executive order overruled the mayor's. Below, you can see de Blasio's executive order on closures of all casinos, gyms, theaters, restaurants and bars, which abided by Cuomo's timetable.
And here is how the NYPD has been instructed to enforce the new rules, which restrict any gatherings of 50 or more people:
If you're thinking about ordering take-out, this thread here has some good tips to consider, including: tip really well (especially if you start ordering alcohol), practice social distancing if possible (you can ask delivery people to leave it at your door or lobby), and be extra considerate and patient with delivery workers.
As of late Monday, New York City had 463 confirmed cases of coronavirus. But on Tuesday morning, Mayor de Blasio said the city was now on pace to reach 1,000 confirmed cases by the end of this week.