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Erie County lawmaker wants open-container law to become permanent

Restaurants, bars and liquor stores had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic and were allowed to serve takeout drinks with temporary permission from the state.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Restaurants, bars and liquor stores had to adapt and serve takeout drinks for the last few months with temporary permission from the state. Now an Erie County lawmaker wants to make that permanent.

Joe Lorigo is sponsoring a change to the open-container laws that would let those places sell alcoholic beverages for takeout after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

"I think something like this would allow people to continue practicing safe social distancing, but also get back into the community and help local businesses thrive," Lorigo said.

Another county resolution is pushing for restaurants to have the right for six months to expand outdoor seating on privately owned restaurant property, getting around any zoning restrictions they might run into right now.

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