BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Keep to-go going!
State Senator Brad Hoylman wants to extend for two more years the law change that is currently allowing bars and restaurants to sell alcohol for takeout and delivery during the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Cuomo announced the new regulations by the State Liquor Authority on March 16. People are also required to buy food along with their takeout or delivery alcohol.
Hoylman explained the idea during the Zoom virtual meeting of Community Board 2 on Thursday evening.
“The thinking behind this is our restaurants and bars are really on a knife edge,” he said. “They need a leg up — and the only thing keeping them alive right now is these alcohol sales.
“It’s trying to give them that lifeline that small businesses need,” he added. “This is one regulatory fix that I’m looking for feedback on from the community boards.”
No members voiced any objection to the idea, though the board isn’t at the point of holding a vote on the issue yet.
In addition, beyond takeout alcohol, Carter Booth, the C.B. 2 chairperson, said when the city’s economy reopens from the “Pause,” the body should also take steps to help local restaurants on the dining front.
He noted that Board 2 probably has the most sidewalk cafes of any community board in New York City.
When restaurants are allowed to reopen, they will probably be restricted to operating at only 50 percent capacity, Booth pointed out.
One thing C.B. 2 should advocate for is to allow restaurants to have more outdoor seating, according to the chairperson.
“We want to afford them a way to bridge the next few months,” he said. “We’re not talking three tables and six seats. We’re talking 10 tables, 20 seats or more for larger restaurants.
“They need this to make their Friday and Saturday nights work,” he said of local restaurateurs. “Tourists are not coming. This is for local people to come out and eat.”