Bars pivot to comply with new state order


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York bars and restaurants must now serve food with alcohol. The mandate issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo is effective immediately.

“2020 is just a year of, ‘let’s survive.’ Let’s comply. Let’s do what we got to do,” said Albany Distilling Company Owner Rick Sicari.

In Governor Cuomo’s latest order, he added that customers can no longer order drinks at the bar. Instead, they’ll have to drink while seated at a table, six feet apart.

“It came out today. We open in a few minutes, and we’re just going to have to see how the patrons react,” Sicari said.

The mandate is in a reaction to establishments reportedly not following state guidelines, notably those in the New York City area, as well as customers getting too close to each other when ordering drinks at the bar.

Egregious violators could lose their liquor license. And in a way to publicly shame businesses, they’ll be added to a list on the state’s website of those who’ve ignored the rules.

“I don’t really stand behind this second guessing or fighting safety. It’s like, let’s just do what we gotta do. Because I want to be through this faster. I’m hoping 2021 is a great year,” Sicari said.

The newly released rules aren’t clear-cut for Nine Pin Cider Owner Alejandro del Peral who sells food, alcohol and merchandise.

“One of the things that the governor’s press release didn’t address is an operation like ours which is a hybrid,” del Peral said. “It might just be that customers who want to buy a sweatshirt but also drink on-site have to do two different transactions in two different ways. I mean, it seems ridiculous,” del Peral said.

Both owners said the pandemic’s been about rolling with the punches, even unexpected ones, like this.

“Let’s keep paying our mortgages. Let’s keep the lights on. We’ll see what next year holds,” Sicari said.

At Harvey’s in Saratoga Springs, they are now offering “Cuomo chips”:

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