ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been two years since restaurants had to close their dining rooms to customers and were forced to offer takeout only. The state temporarily allowed alcohol-to-go, as a way to help businesses that were struggling. While some sense of normalcy has returned since then, restaurants are still trying to recover.

“We’re entering year three next week,” said Dominick Purnomo, owner of Yono’s. “Restaurants are still in survival mode. We are still fighting to keep our businesses open to keep our staff employed, and alcohol-to-go is certainly one leg that allows us to stand.”

The emergency regulation expired in June. Now, many restaurant owners are calling for alcohol-to-go to become permanent. Even the governor announced her support for it. However, alcohol-to-go does have some opposition from those in the liquor store industry. They are worried it will negatively impact business.

“We have 15 months of data where restaurants were able to sell to go,” explained Purnomo. “At the same time, liquor stores across NYS were up almost 40%, concurrently. So there is 15 months of hard data that shows restaurants can sell alcohol to go and liquor and wine shops can thrive in that environment.”

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, who sponsors the legislation, said the amount of alcohol is limited. “What we are saying is you have a choice of takeout order with a certain number of ounces of alcohol in a sealed container, or you can go to a liquor store and buy a bottle of wine if you want,” said Cymbrowitz.

While Governor Hochul’s proposed making alcohol-to-go permanent in the state budget, Assembly Democrats feel this isn’t the right place for the legislation. “We, the Democratic Assembly, have decided that we’re going to take policy out of our one house and deal with all those issues after the budget,” came their official statement.

It’s unclear whether the Senate will include alcohol to go in its budget.