After a Saturday night of taking in the Big Apple, you meet your friends for 10:00 a.m. brunch on the Upper West Side. You decide that you’d like to chase your blueberry pancakes with a refreshing mimosa, but the server stops you: “I’m sorry, but we don’t serve alcohol until noon.” This was the response for decades until now.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, a law which dates back to the prohibition era, disallowed the sale of alcohol on Sundays until noon throughout the State of New York.¹ On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation which sought to modernize the prohibition era law which originally established the rules and regulations regarding the sale of alcohol.² As of September 7, 2016, restaurants in New York may serve alcohol as early as 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. Additionally, twelve permits per year will be made available outside of New York City for restaurants to serve alcohol as early as 8:00 a.m.
The looser measures come as Governor Cuomo seeks to embrace New York’s burgeoning craft alcoholic beverage industry and stimulate business for bar and restaurant owners. The legislation as originally proposed permitted alcohol to be served at 8:00 a.m. on Sundays, but 8:00 a.m. was opposed by some legislators who feared that an earlier time would invite unwelcomed morning noise and raucous. Thus, compromise was struck with drinks being poured starting at 10:00 a.m. Cheers!