June 13, 2024


The Food community

As New York Revisits To-Go Drink, Liquor Stores Prepare for Battle

2 min read

It has also been a reliable donor to elected officials, even if it is far from one of the largest moneyed interests in the Capitol.

The political action committee, or PAC, controlled by the Metropolitan Package Store Association has given over $140,000 to elected officials since last year, mostly Democratic lawmakers, who control the Legislature. Over the same time period, two PACs associated with the restaurant industry gave just over $20,000.

Indeed, over the past two decades, the Metropolitan Package Store Association has established “longstanding relationships” in the Capitol through a steady stream of political contributions. That has included nearly $200,000 to Mr. Cuomo; $14,500 to Carl E. Heastie, the Assembly speaker; and $31,100 to Michael Gianaris, the Democratic deputy majority leader in the Senate, whom the association honored during its 87th annual dinner last October.

Mr. Gianaris, who has also received contributions from the restaurant industry, said he supports codifying to-go cocktails and finding a resolution “that hopefully does not hurt other small businesses.” He added that the legislation last year “was one of those things that when you get toward the end of the session, the clock runs out.”

The PAC also gave $25,000 to Ms. Hochul in October, before she came out in support of to-go cocktails.

The liquor store industry did not initially oppose to-go drinks; though the industry’s lobbyists contend that some stores suffered, sales overall had ballooned in 2020, and stores saw the measure as an acceptable, if temporary, reprieve for struggling restaurants and bars that had been forced to close their doors to customers during the pandemic.

But they appeared to grow particularly irritated by bars and restaurants that were selling full bottles of wine and spirits, effectively operating as makeshift liquor stores, which have to go through a rigorous process to obtain a license to sell alcohol.

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