How To Run A Booze Takeout Window

One of the few (only?) upsides of the pandemic is the new State and Liquor Authority (SLA) law permitting bars and restaurants to offer booze for takeout and delivery. With dining- and drinking-in canceled for the foreseeable future, there’s no time like the present to pick up an Aperol spritz from your old local and drink it at your new local, i.e., your couch. Still, even takeout service comes with some risks and rules, hence why NYC’s Small Business Services (SBS) recently released a few guidelines to help businesses navigate them. 

For one thing, the SLA law change does not do away with open-container laws, so though your patrons can purchase drinks on the sidewalk, it’s still illegal for them to consume those drinks on the sidewalk. This particular caveat is confusing for consumers, so you may want to consider putting up some signage as a reminder. It’s also important to ensure customers practice social distancing when queueing for drinks; and don’t congregate on the sidewalk once they’ve got them. Here are the SBS guidelines:

—Manage lines to allow for social distancing. 

—If there’s a takeout window onto the sidewalk, allow for enough space for passersby to practice social distancing

—Ensure that there is no congregating/gathering outside of the takeout window

It’s also important to remember that Governor Cuomo’s executive order requires everyone over the age of 2 to wear face masks when in situations where they can’t social distance; keep that in mind when setting up lines for your takeout window, and also remember to make accommodations for customers with disabilities.  

Here are the Lower Manhattan restaurants that are offering to pack up gimlet, margaritas, glasses of pinot or what-have-you, with takeout and delivery orders. 

photo: iStock