There are few things more sacred than Sunday brunch. And yet, our beloved brunches are often ruled by archaic parameters. New York State’s law limits alcohol sales before noon on Sundays – and that means sometimes beginning our brunch hour depressingly dry. But that may be about to change: New York State is considering amending the law that currently prohibits sale of alcohol before noon on Sundays, commonly known as the blue laws.
A report issued yesterday by the Alcohol Beverage Control Law Working Group, a panel set up by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is looking into ways to loosen these somewhat antiquated laws. One suggestion would allow restaurant and bar sales beginning at 8 a.m. on Sundays. An alternate idea was to allow a special permit for Sunday morning events.
It’s not just slingers of hash and Benedicts though that are interested in changing the laws. "As an owner of several sports bars in NYC, I feel that Sunday should be treated like any other day of the week without needing a special permit to be allowed to sell alcohol from 8am-12pm,” says Michael Sinensky, who owns SideBAR, Village Pourhouse and Hudson Terrace. “Besides brunch, there are a countless number of sporting events that are played around the world that have heavy interest here for example early soccer and cricket matches, the summer Olympics being held this August in Brazil, a Jets or any NFL game being played in London, etc. Customers should be allowed to have an alcoholic beverage if they choose during this time,” says Sinensky.
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A press release issued by the governor stated, in typical political parlance that, “This administration has taken important steps to cut red tape, roll back burdensome recommendations [sic] and help this industry continue to grow, thrive and create jobs in New York.” Governor Cuomo furthered: "I thank the members of this group for their work and their recommendations on how to continue this progress and look forward to reviewing its findings."
We hope he moves along with that. We’re thirsty.