With the weather getting nicer and people getting vaccinated, a lot of New Yorkers were ready to have a few beers and maybe an order or two of wings at their favorite watering holes around the state this weekend.
While you can still grab some Heinies and order food (in a socially distanced manner), you’ll have to wrap it up by 11 p.m.
Governor Andrew Cuomo this week extended an executive order for bars and restaurants to close early until May 6.
Melissa Fleischut, the president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, told Capital Tonight she’s not sure why restaurants and bars were singled out for early closure while other entertainment venues that serve alcohol, like casinos and bowling alleys, are now allowed to stay open later.
“I don’t know what the difference is, or why our industry wasn’t included in that,” she said. “We always thought that it was about the alcohol and the service of alcohol late into the night, concerns that crowds would get rowdy and stop (following) the guidelines.”
The executive order pertaining to restaurants and bars is in effect until May 6, though it may be revisited before then. According to Fleischut, closing at 11 p.m. can mean significant financial pain for those in the hospitality industry.
“It continues to limit their ability to serve later into the night so maybe a final dinner service at the restaurants, and certainly bar business is impacted greatly by 11 o’clock,” she said. “It’s a lot in terms of sales. I don’t have a specific number, but if you’re doing two or three turns a night for dinner and you lose one, that’s significant.”