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Cocktails to go may become permanent in New York, but opponents say not so fast

Debate continues over to-go alcohol 02:12

NEW YORK - There are more calls to make selling to-go cocktails permanent in New York

Supporters are pushing to get the measure included in the state budget, due next week. But opponents say not so fast. 

As CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports, at the Rogers Garden in Flatbush, Brooklyn, co-owner Garnett Phillip is hoping the state shakes up the rules when it comes to selling her signature cocktails. 

"It was a huge huge help for us," Phillip said. 

Phillip opened the bar in July 2020, during the pandemic. 

She says they survived because New York state temporarily allowed bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks to go during the height of the pandemic, tossing them a lifeline when indoor dining wasn't allowed. 

"To have this to go option back for us would be amazing. Trust me, I would've done way better this winter, and I wouldn't have struggled the way I struggled if that was an option," Phillip said. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed bringing the popular initiative back and making it permanent

Friday night, Phillip hosted New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who is running for governor, and others who support Hochul's plan. 

They hoped it would be included in the state budget, due next Friday, April 1. Now, they're not sure. 

"I'm worried right now because I think some other issues are getting a lot more attention. We want this issue to get attention. This is the issue so many people agree on," Williams said. 

But said do not, concerned to-go drinks brought huge crowds outside in some neighborhoods, and now would take away business for mom and pop liquor stores. 

Michael Correra with the Metropolitan Package Store Association represents liquor retailers. 

"It would be destructive to our industry," he said. "During the pandemic, the height of the pandemic, we were all for these emergency orders, and that's what they were for. But right now, as we all know, as I'm sure you know, you try to get a reservation to go out to dinner, it's impossible."  

Grymes asked Hochul's office if this proposal is still a possibility in the state budget, or will be pushed in separate legislation. A spokesperson pointed to Hochul's remarks on March 14, saying she wants to make sure they get it done before the end of the legislation session. 

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