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OUTDOOR DRINKING IS BACK SUBJECT TO GUIDELINES

The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) has announced that effective June 4, 2020, outdoor, on-premises service of alcoholic beverages and/or food may resume in those regions that attain Phase 2 of the NY Forward reopening plan, subject to the following guidelines. The guidance remains in force through July 3.

  • 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).
  • Any consumption of food and/or beverage must happen 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, guidances promulgated by the Department of Health, and/or any other relevant agency guidance

The guidance also permits establishments to expand their licensed premises to include adjacent outdoor areas that they own or lease, subject only to submitting a diagram of such expansion to the SLA within five (5) business days. The usual regulations concerning premises expansion are suspended. Further information can be found here.

Also permitted is expansion onto a municipal street, sidewalk, or other outdoor area, although municipal approval is required. SLA states it will not have jurisdiction over the operations of a licensee in such expanded premises unless the municipality and the establishment submit certain forms and comply with their requirements. The form for the municipality can be found here. The form for the establishment can be found here.

This is not intended to be legal advice.  You should contact an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.

Be sure to visit our Coronavirus Resource Page for more information.


Gary M. Schuster is partner at the firm and practices business, non-profit, and arts and entertainment law.  He can be reached at  866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email.

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