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Survey: 78% Of New Yorkers Support Making 'Alcohol-To-Go' Permanent After Pandemic

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- During the pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed New York bars and restaurants to temporarily sell cocktails and wine to go.

There's now a push to keep the rule in place permanently, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Monday.

Bars and restaurants say booze-to-go has boosted cash flow during the pandemic anywhere from 15% to 40%.

A survey by the New York State Restaurant Association found 78% of New Yorkers are cheering a proposal to change state law to allow such sales to continue.

"It's a very high number," said Melissa Fleischut, CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association. "Even higher numbers in specific regions like New York City or Long Island."

Fleischut said the current executive order allowing alcohol-to-go expires in June. She hopes the legislature makes the change permanent before the session ends on June 10.

"I think it was a very exciting, new opportunity for restaurants, and gave them some hope during the pandemic and something that we'd like to see, obviously continue, as we try to build back to 2019 numbers," said Fleischut.


There's opposition from some in the liquor store industry.

At Grape Exchange in New Rochelle, owner Michael Grossberg doesn't support allowing food establishments to sell entire bottles of wine or large amounts of booze to go. He points out state law bans him from selling any kind of food, including chips or beer nuts.

"But it's a give to one, take from the other. Nothing has been easy for anybody, but we're looking to hold on to what we have," said Grossberg.

Lobbyists for the competing interests are, at least, talking and trying to work out a compromise that both sides can cheer.

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