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With just 11 working days left in the session, the Legislature needs to move fast to pass a trio of reforms that can help Gotham’s battered bars and restaurants recover from 15 months of catastrophe.
Start with the rule barring the State Liquor Authority from granting city eateries temporary liquor licenses while they await their permanent permits. Restaurants in the rest of the state can get interim licenses within 30 days, but city venues must wait an average of five months for the full SLA review.
“We’ll miss these five months of great weather,” said Mermaid Inn co-owner Daniel Abrams. “If you can’t offer a glass of wine with the oysters, diners will go somewhere else,” he told The Post last month, noting booze sales account for 40 percent of restaurant revenues.
NYC Hospitality Alliance lawyer Robert Bookman warns, “A couple of thousand vacant places . . . will have to wait half a year to open” if lawmakers don’t level the playing field.
Second: Pass a bill to permanently let bars and restaurants sell alcohol to-go, for pickup or delivery, along with food.
Third, do the same for outdoor alcohol service. Mayor Bill de Blasio has made permanent the Open Restaurants outdoor-dining program, boosting 11,000 eateries. State law should conform: As the Hospitality Alliance notes, the SLA couldn’t possibly handle 11,000 alteration applications to serve booze outdoors at once.
The state must do its part to let the world’s greatest city come back to life.
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