A New York pub has found a creative way to circumvent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest edict regarding serving alcohol at restaurants amid the COVID-19 crisis.
This week, Cuomo announced that bars and restaurants would not be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages without also ordering food, forcing the bar owner to get creative.
In response to the latest order from the state, Harvey’s Irish Pub in Saratoga Springs introduced “Cuomo Chips,” a $1 option on the menu that will allow patrons to purchase alcohol while still not violating Cuomo’s order.
“I mean why not, they’re his chips, they’re his rule so he might as well get some recognition and acknowledgment for another little hurdle we have to jump through as business owners,” Matthew Bagely, the owner of the pub, told CBS6-WRGB in Albany.
“For the time being until we have more information — that’s food. And you can buy it for a dollar.”
The new guidance from the state says that the “purchase of a food item which is consistent with the food availability requirement of the license under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law shall mean that for each patron in a seated party, an item of food must be purchased at the same time as the purchase of the initial alcoholic beverage(s).
“Food items intended to complement the tasting of alcoholic beverages, which shall mean a diversified selection of food that is ordinarily consumed without the use of tableware and can be conveniently consumed, including but not limited to: cheese, fruits, vegetables, chocolates, breads, mustards, and crackers.”
On Facebook, Bagely clarified the move, noting that “at no point has this business been lacking in compliance. We feel very strongly here that we have an obligation to do our utmost to protect our guests, and our staff."
Bagley noted that the restaurant will also be offering flatbreads with field greens, roasted beets, and goat cheese for a dollar.
“While the sudden regulations imposed on businesses are difficult to work with - it is our responsibility to work within the confines of these decisions,” he said. “And if possible- with some levity. Please don’t assume we’re taking a political stance here. Our only concern- is the well being of our guests, and the livelihood of our staff.”
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