BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing to keep alcohol to go permanent in New York State. But not everyone agrees with that plan.

Governor Hochul assured a New York City-based hospitality trade group she is putting together a plan to rework regulations for liquor sales that would allow taverns and restaurants to sell alcohol with takeout meals on a permanent basis.

“This is what kept people afloat during those dark, dark months and years of the pandemic,” said Governor Hochul.

Governor Hochul refers to the massive losses suffered by New York’s hospitality industry during the COVID pandemic as many as 60,000 workers lost their jobs. Hochul told this New York City hospitality group she is going to make the drinks-to-go concept permanent.

“They have been through so much, and if we don’t listen to them and help lift them up now then we lose part of the charm of these neighborhoods. That is what we are up against. You lose a business like this, it doesn’t come back,” Hochul added.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed taverns and restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages by the drink with meals.. when their businesses were heavily restricted. Those establishments have called it a lifesaver.

“There’s so many people on the brink of bankruptcy right now because of the hits we have taken over the last 24 months,” said Jimmy Butera of Butera’s Craft Beer.

“The alcohol to go would really help us to bring in a little bit more sales,” Ellie Greenauer of Glen Park Tavern said.

Notarius adds, because of the state’s tight restrictions, those liquor stores in New York City also got hammered.

The alcohol-to-go measure is part of Governor Hochul’s legislative package that includes streamlining the State Liquor Authority’s regulations, and it has a better chance of passage since the governor wrapped it into her state budget resolution.

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Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.