New York Liquor Law May Undergo a Drastic Change New York Liquor Law may Undergo a Drastic Change

Restaurants, bars, and taverns could possibly purchase from liquor stores soon.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Recently, James Skoufis, a New York senator, proposed a provision to the state’s budget proposal that would grant restaurants, taverns, and bars permission to purchase 12 bottles of alcohol a week from liquor stores. That is a massive difference from the current law, which requires the aforementioned establishments to buy from one of two primary distributors: Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Empire Distributors.

That pair of distributors, as it stands, have majority control over the state’s commercial liquor sales. This system specifically hurts small businesses, as they can only buy liquor once a week, get charged extra when they don’t purchase by the case, and face delivery fees. So with that setup potentially changing, Tammy Timmerman, the president of the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association, has plenty to be excited about.

“Our ability to be able to go to a liquor store on a Saturday afternoon, when you’ve run out of something because you’re busier than you had expected, is huge to us,” Timmerman said.

But even with support from Skoufis and some other state politicians, the effort to adopt the proposal is still subject to the legal process.

“There’s a lot of hard work involved,” Timmerman said. “A lot of reaching out and contacting all of the assemblymen and senators of New York state and trying to get their support for this.”

The logistics of adopting a new provision aren’t the only hurdle New York’s small restaurants and bars have faced, however. Southern Glazer’s and Empire Distributors are both opposed to the legislation and have pushed back against it.

“Sometimes I guess it feels like David vs. Goliath,” Timmerman said. “But we’re in it for the fight and now we just have to fight our way through the legislative process to get it.”

Timmerman estimates that the average small eatery could save between $8,000 to $12,000 dollars annually, which could go towards new hires, maintaining properties, and more. Additionally, liquor stores – which already get their alcohol from distributors – would get a boost from new clients.

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