Governor Cuomo announced this week that all restaurants and bars in New York State must cease on-premises service as of 8:00PM on Monday, March 16th. Many restaurants continue to offer takeout options, delivery, or both. For those in Western New York, a list of these restaurants can be found on websites like Please do not forget to support local eateries during this time, even if it means purchasing a gift card for use at a later date.

For those of you in need of libation, fear not. The New York State Liquor Authority rolled out off-premises privileges and guidance for on-premises licensees. In other words, entities that currently hold on-premises liquor licenses may now sell alcohol for off-premises consumption until April 15, 2020.  Please find below a summary of the SLA guidance for licensees:

  • A licensee may sell for off-premises consumption only the type of alcohol that it is currently licensed to sell. For example, if a restaurant has a Tavern Wine license (beer, wine, and cider), it may not begin selling tequila.
  • Any alcoholic beverage must be sold in any closed or sealed original container.
  • Each container of alcohol sold must be accompanied by the sale of food. To determine what type of food you should be offering, consult your existing SLA license or feel free to reach out to me, and I can take a look.
  • Alcohol may be sold as takeout or may be delivered to a customer.
  • There are no restrictions on the amount of alcohol that the licensee can deliver to a customer.
  • If the alcohol is being delivered, delivery must made (i) in a vehicle permitted by the SLA, such as a third-party delivery service or (ii) in a vehicle owned, operated, or hired by the licensee or an employee thereof.
  • A copy of the licensee’s SLA permit must be in the delivery vehicle.
  • Alcohol may be only be sold during the hours of operation that the licensee would normally operate (in compliance with applicable local law).
  • Customers purchasing from breweries, micro breweries, farm breweries, wineries, cideries, or distilleries in person need not order food. Any deliveries from a brewery, on the other hand, must be accompanied by a food order.
  • For those licensees who already hold an off-premises license, they may continue to sell alcohol off-premises.

 Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to talk through these issues; we are here to help.