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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

July 20, 2020

COVID-19: You Must Get Fries With That – NYS SLA Issues Guidance on Requirement for on-Premises Licensees to Serve Food With Alcoholic Beverages

On July 16, NYS Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.52, requiring that service of an alcoholic beverage for on- or off-premises consumption must be accompanied by the purchase of a food item for each individual that is being served.

The executive order applies to businesses licensed by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) for on-premises service of alcoholic beverages, with their licenses conditioned upon food availability. The purpose of the requirement is to allow outside and limited indoor dining (outside of New York City) with alcoholic beverages while restricting the congregating and mingling that typically arises in a bar service or drinking-only environment.

On July 17, the SLA issued guidance to clarify the executive order, including the types of food items consistent with the food availability requirement. Each patron in a seated party must purchase an item of food at the same time the patron purchases their initial alcoholic beverage. The SLA notes, however, that a shareable food item or items may be purchased if the shareable item serves everyone in the seated party and meets the following food standards:

  • For manufacturing establishments with on-premises alcoholic service privileges: Sandwiches, soups, and/or food items intended to complement the tasting of alcoholic beverages, including but not limited to cheese, fruits, vegetables, chocolates, breads, mustards, and crackers
  • For on-premises retailers with a food availability requirement, including restaurants and taverns: Sandwiches, soups, or other foods, whether fresh, processed, precooked, or frozen

The SLA guidance is effective immediately, and the executive order will expire on August 15, subject to repeal or extension.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Corey Auerbach, Land Use & Zoning Practice Area co-chair, at; Ari Goldberg, associate, at; or Scott Rogoff, Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team leader, at

We also have a specific team of Barclay Damon attorneys who are actively working on assessing regulatory, legislative, and other governmental updates related to COVID-19 and who are prepared to assist clients. You can reach our COVID-19 Response Team at

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