It’s no secret that the hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.

Bars and restaurants faced months-long closures or flipped their business plans on their head to stay afloat by converting to a curbside pick-up and delivery model. 

Restauranteurs, and their employees, looked forward to their region’s economic reopening to throw open their doors, however cautiously, again. 

Restaurants and bars must follow new statewide alcohol service requirements.

To continue to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Cuomo recently announced new statewide requirements:

  • All service at bar tops must be for seated patrons only, with a 6-foot distance or physical barriers between patrons.
  • Only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages.
  • Restaurants and bars may only serve alcohol to patrons that are also ordering and consuming food. 


“Three strikes and you’re closed” policy in New York City.

 Governor Cuomo also announced a new policy in New York City to ensure the safety of patrons and staff at City restaurants and bars. If any establishment receives three violations for noncompliance with state social distancing and mask requirements, the State will close the business.

If the violations are serious, they may result in immediate loss of the food establishment’s liquor license or business closure prior to a third strike. 

And if these penalties aren’t enough, any food establishment that faces disciplinary charges by the State Liquor Authority will have the establishment’s name and location posted publicly on a weekly basis. 

The “three strikes and you’re closed” policy may be extended to other regions of New York State if the State determines similar level of noncompliance. 


We are here for you. 

Call (914-946-2889) or email us at Francis J. Malara or Anne Penachio with any questions or for a free consultation regarding the financial health of your restaurant or bar, or for matters regarding commercial litigation. 


Additional Resources

Restaurant and bar policy and enforcement announcement from the Governor’s office.

COVID-19 guidance from the State Liquor Authority.


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