Cuomo signs 'Brunch Bill'

ALBANY – You can now have a different kind of toast with your Sunday brunch.
 
Restaurants and taverns with liquor permits can sell alcohol on Sundays beginning at 10 a.m. The prior law blocked Sunday sales before noon.
 
Bars and restaurants praised the new law, and Cuomo said it was long overdue to change some of the state's old blue laws.
 
"We’ve done a lot of work with the wineries and the breweries, who said the current laws of the state were strangling their growth," Cuomo said during the bill signing in Rochester. "Why? Because the state liquor laws were basically written during the Prohibition era. And they were very strict."
 
The booze bill was sent to Cuomo's desk on Tuesday and makes 18 changes to the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, such as allowing liquor stores to sell gift bags and gift wrapping.
 
The most publicized is the so-called "brunch bill" that will lift some of the restrictions on Sunday morning alcohol sales.
 
Bars and restaurants have been hoping Cuomo would sign the bill before the NFL season starts Sunday. The state Legislature passed the measure in June.
 
"After more than 80 years, it’s about time to bring the rules governing the sale of alcohol in line with the demands of our customers,” said Scott Wexler, executive director of the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association.
 
Here's what you need to know about the new laws:
 
Do I still have to wait until noon on Sundays to have a morning mimosa?
 
As of this Sunday, restaurants, taverns and bars can begin selling alcoholic beverages at 10 a.m., two hours earlier than the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law had previously permitted.
 
What if my business wants to serve alcoholic beverages before 10 a.m.?
 
Establishments outside of New York City also have the ability to apply for up to 12 "special occasion permits"
per year to start sales at 8 a.m. on Sundays.
 
The permits, priced at $35 each, will be available starting on Sunday, Nov. 6 -- 60 days after the bill was signed.
 
If I visit a winery am I still limited to only purchasing sealed bottles of wine?
 
No, the updated law allows for winery customers to have a growler filled on the premises and also allows them to take home any opened bottles of wine that they may have not had a chance to finish during their time at the winery.
 
As a small wholesaler, do I still need to pay the same fee as a larger wholesaler?
 
No. Under the new law, small wholesalers in New York who sell their imported products to larger wholesalers no longer have to pay the same fees.
 
The earlier law required small importers to pay between $1,460 for a one-year beer license and $27,280 for a three-year liquor license, now they simply have to obtain an importers license for $125 a year.
 
If my company wants to manufacturer multiple types of alcoholic beverages such as wine and liquor, must we still obtain a license for each?
 
No, manufacturers are now able to submit one application for multiple licenses.
 


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