HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) – During Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State this week, she proposed bringing take-home alcoholic drinks.
It was wildly popular during the beginning of the pandemic, only coming to an end this past June when New York ended its disaster declaration. Hochul wants to push for alcoholic drink orders to-go to be legalized.
Two restaurants in Horseheads, Garcia’s and Salsa’s, said it would be a welcome benefit to their business and their customers.
“We’re also going to do something bars and restaurants have been asking for…to once again allow the sale of to-go drinks – a critical revenue stream during the lean times last year,” she said.
Waitress Emma Curreri has been serving at Salsa’s for two years now.
She said the restaurant definitely took advantage of to-go drinks when it was allowed previously during the pandemic, and it helped business, especially at a time when restaurants could not allow customers to dine in.
“It definitely helped our business with to-go’s because our margaritas are half of it — half of the meal,” she said. “So, they would definitely bring us a lot of money with that one.”
Curreri said when Salsa’s had to stop including take-out for alcohol, customers were very disappointed.
“A lot of them were sad,” she said. “Once we start them back up, I think people would be very excited about it.”
At Garcia’s, waitress Shelbie Vansice has been working at the restaurant since last March.
She said she noticed a spike in business when they were allowed to serve to-go drinks.
“We still have people asking for to-go alcohol,” she said. “I always feel really bad because I tell them ‘no… we can’t do it.’”
Similar to Curreri, Vancise said she noticed that customers were upset about no longer being able to get drinks to-go.
“They were kind of upset because we had a lot of regular orders that included alcohol and now clearly, they can’t get their alcohol,” she said.
Vancise said servers are eager to have to-go drink orders reinstated. She thinks it would bring local restaurants more business, especially with Covid-19 cases on the rise once again.
“We are waiting and waiting for it to come back,” she said.
Gov. Hochul will have to get legislature approval for to-go alcoholic drinks to once again be allowed. Servers of Horseheads believe only positive effects would result from the decision.