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Food Service & Hospitality

NYC Restaurants, Bars Get Creative with New Liquor Law to Stay Afloat


From its landmarks and parks to restaurants and bars, New York City is eerily empty as the state has become a hot bed for the spread of the COVID-19. As more states order restaurants and bars close to close, the food and beverage industry is scrambling to implement alternative ways to conduct business.

For restaurant owners, that means taking advantage of food delivery companies like UberEats and Postmates that are waiving delivery fees for restaurants offering takeout only. While New York City restaurants and bars are offering takeout and delivery, they are also selling alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption thanks to a new law that went into effect March 17.

The new regulation limits the kind of vehicles that can deliver the alcohol and requires booze is sold alongside food, according to Eater. Restaurants and bars are getting creative to ensure they can take advantage of alcoholic beverage sales, which is often the highest-profit items on the menu.

Patent Pending, a café by day and speakeasy by night, is staying compliant with the new container laws by transporting cocktails in Mason jars. Every cocktail order automatically comes with a bag of chips to stay compliant with the new liquor law, and any order over $50 gets a free roll of toilet paper.

“We could survive a month and a half on delivery,” Patent Pending General Manager Nicholas Ruiz told Eater. “We’re just trying to be a little beam of light for some people.”

About 154,400 people work in the city’s bars, restaurants, cafés and food trucks and earn about $4.7 billion in wages per year, according to a 2019 NYC’s Nightlife Economy study. For more best practice ideas from New York City’s restaurants and bars, click here.