A socially distant "cheers" could still be in order after the current state of emergency ends for restaurants and bars.

State Senator Brad Hoylman on Thursday proposed allowing eateries and bars to continue offering wine, beer, and cocktails for take-out and delivery two years after the emergency declaration ends.

What You Need To Know

  • Bars and restaurants have been badly hurt by the pandemic.

  • A bill would allow them to continue take-out drinks for 2 years after the crisis ends.

  • There would be strict controls.

  • The industry has lost jobs and revenue.

The measure is meant to provide a lift for the battered industry that has been closed since March for sit-down service. 

“Let’s raise a glass to New York’s hospitality industry," Hoylman said. "If we want our favorite bars and restaurants to survive the crisis, we’ve got to help them adapt. My new legislation will allow bars and restaurants to provide beer, wine and cocktails for take-out and delivery for two years after the crisis ends, giving these establishments a much-needed lifeline while New York slowly returns to normal. L’Chaim!”

The bill would include safeguards like requiring beverages are sold in closed or sealed containers and must be accompanied with the purchased food while also complying with open container laws.

The State Liquor Authority would also be required to hold hearings and determine whether a license holder has the ability to sell beverages for off-premise consumption if there are complaints.

The hospitality industry in New York has been hard hit by the pandemic, with most restaurants reporting sharp drops in revenue and furloughs and layoffs for their staff.