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Effective Thursday, June 4, 2020

Pursuant to the Governor’s order, all licensees in regions that have entered phase 2 of reopening and which have on-premises service privileges under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (ABC Law) ma resume outdoor, on-premises service of alcoholic beverages and/or food.  

To help preventing the spread of the coronavirus and assist businesses impacted by the current state of emergency the Governor ordered the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to promulgate guidance on a streamlined process for expanding licensed premises for service of alcoholic beverages. This SLA Guidance shall continue until July 6, 2020 but may be extended or reduced depending upon the circumstances. 

 The State Liquor Authority offers the following Guidance:

Outdoor Consumption in Phase 2:

  • Any consumption of food and/or beverage must happen in outdoor, open-air areas, without a fixed roof (besides a temporary or seasonal awning or cover).

  • Food and/or beverages can only be consumed while seated at a table, bar, counter, or similar contrivance.

  • All tables must be 6 feet apart; any seat at a bar, counter, or similar contrivance must be 6 feet apart.

  • All staff of the licensed business must wear face masks at all times.

  • All customers must wear face masks at any time they are not seated.

  • Any consumption shall be subject to all other relevant executive orders, guidance promulgated by the Department of Health, and/or any other relevant agency guidance.

  • It shall be part of the Licensee’s supervisory responsibilities under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws and Rules of the Authority to comply with this SLA Guidance and the Department of Health’s Interim Guidance for Outdoor Service; if unable to comply, it is the licensee’s obligation to discontinue outdoor service.

Outdoor Expansion of Premises in Phase 2:

  • Section 99-d of the ABC Law, under normal conditions, governs the process for substantial alterations of a licensed premises.  Pursuant to this Guidance, however, a licensee may, for the duration that this Guidance remains in effect, use any contiguous outdoor, open-air part of its existing premises for which it has control by deed, lease, management agreement, or other agreement of control (e.g., a municipal sidewalk cafe permit).  Provided however that if a licensee’s existing license operates with stipulations restricting the use of outdoor areas, through a municipality or other entity, such licensee must submit a letter from such stipulating counter-party  approving such additional outdoor use of premises. 

  • Any licensee that expands its premises pursuant to the immediately foregoing paragraph shall, within 5 business days of doing, so submit an updated diagram to the SLA at [email protected] – please include your license serial number in the subject line.  Failure to do so shall subject a licensee to disciplinary charges for illegal extension of premises. 

  • Licensees are permitted to move any currently licensed point of sale as long as they note such movement on the diagram they submit pursuant to this Guidance; adding an extra point of sale (more than currently licensed) is not permitted without having an approved application to the SLA for an additional bar license.

  • Should any municipality elect to make available to licensees any municipally owned lands (e.g. sidewalks, streets, etc.) which are beside, but not immediately adjacent to, the licensed premises for service of food and/or beverages (a “Municipal Extension”), and should such municipality want or expect the SLA to have jurisdiction over a licensee’s operations over such Municipal Extension, such municipality must submit to the SLA a plan for municipal outdoor dining areas on the following form and deliver to the SLA the written acceptance of responsibility for such Municipal Extension from each implicated licensee by also including the following form.  Service that occurs in a municipal dining area for which a municipality has not submitted a form and licensee written acceptance shall be outside the jurisdiction of the SLA. 

  • Licensees are not permitted to move points of sale onto municipal property, even with an approved Municipal Extension, under any circumstances.   

A reminder:  outside of this Guidance, the restrictions put in place by Executive Order 202.3 (as continued by subsequent executive orders) remain in effect; any licensed business found to be operating in violation of the Governor’s orders restricting on-premises service of alcoholic beverages, including the SLA Guidance with respect to take out and delivery service, shall face a monetary penalty (retail maximum of $10,000/manufacturer maximum of $100,000), and/or suspension, cancellation, or revocation of its license.

For additional detailed information, please visit the New York State Department of Health’s Interim Guidance for Outdoor Service

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