New York State Liquor Authority
Guidance On COVID-Related Closing Times 

Effective Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 11:00PM Modified, Monday, April 19, 2021

Pursuant to Executive Order 202.102, effective Sunday April 19, 2021, all licensed establishments with on premises privileges (e.g. restaurants, taverns, catering halls, clubs, manufacturers with tasting rooms, etc.) shall cease all on premises service of food and drink (indoors or outdoors) at or before 12:00 midnight, daily (note exception below).  Such establishments may reopen for in-person service at 5:00AM, daily, provided however that alcoholic beverage service may not resume until the later of any stipulated opening hour on the license or the county on premises opening hour.   At or after 12:00 midnight daily, no patron may remain in or enter into an interior portion of the premises (note exception below). 

Curbside to-go and delivery service of food and non-alcoholic beverages, or drive through service, may continue daily after 12:00 midnight and until any closing hour specified on the license – provided that no alcoholic beverages may be sold to-go or for delivery after 12:00 midnight. Curbside to-go and delivery service of alcoholic beverages may resume daily at the later of any stipulated opening hour on the license or the county on premises opening hour. 

Additionally, off premises liquor and wine stores shall cease sales and close at the earlier of 11:00PM and any county closing hour, daily, and may not reopen before the county off premises liquor and wine opening hour.   

 

NOTE: As of April 19, 2021, pursuant to the In-Person and Catered Events section of the Department of Health Interim Guidance for Food Services, for events that qualify under that Guidance, all patrons must have exited at or before 1:00AM.

 

NOTE: As of April 19, 2021, pursuant to Executive Order 202.101 and 202.102, establishments licensed with a method of operation consistent with an activity permissible at a food and drink establishment pursuant to a current DOH guidance (e.g., casino, movie theater, permissible sports and recreation activity – bowling, billiards, axe throwing, indoor entertainment, or performing arts or live entertainment venue) may continue such activity after 12:00 midnight, however, all food and beverage service must cease at or before 12:00 midnight and all aspects of the DOH guidance relevant to that activity or venue type must be followed.  Licensed venues which continue to operate beyond 12:00AM, pursuant to this provision, must close at the earlier of any stipulated closing time or the county on premises closing time. 

 

Q & A Regarding Closing Times 

 

I am a licensee with on premises service privileges, must I merely stop serving food and drink at 12:00 midnight, or must all consumption end at or before 12:00 midnight? 

Except for qualifying events under the In-Person and Catered Events section of the DOH food services guidance, all consumption must end at or before 12:00 midnight. 

 

I am a licensee with on premises service privileges, may patrons remain at the premises after 12:00 midnight?

Patrons may remain at the premises (indoors or outdoors) after 12:00 midnight, only (1) for qualifying events only, if the event concludes at or before 1:00AM and the event is held consistent with the additional protocols provided in the In-Person and Catered Events section of the DOH food services guidance; or (2) if food and drink service and consumption has ceased, and the establishment is actively offering an activity permissible under current DOH guidance at a food and drink establishment, e.g., bowling, live entertainment, casino gaming, etc.

Anyone who is not a licensed owner or verifiable employee shall be considered a patron for purposes of compliance. 

 

I am a licensee with on premises service privileges with a method of operation that provides for an activity that is permissible at a food and drink establishment pursuant to a current DOH guidance (e.g., casino, movie theater, permissible sports and recreation activity – bowling, billiards, axe throwing, indoor entertainment, or performing arts or live entertainment venue), may I continue operations after 12:00 midnight? 

 

As of April 5, 2021, any licensee with a method of operation that provides for an activity allowed by a DOH guidance at a food and drink establishment   may continue to operate after 12:00 midnight for those specified purposes only; all food and beverage service however must cease at or before 12:00 midnight. 

 

Any such establishment continuing to operate after 12:00 midnight while offering one of the specified activities shall close at or before the earlier of any stipulated closing time on its license or the county on premises closing hour. 

 

I am a licensee with a liquor/wine store license, in addition to ceasing all sales at my store at or before 12:00 midnight, must I also stop delivery and pickup sales?

Yes, you must stop delivery and pickup as well.  A liquor/wine store may never sell or deliver/allow pick up of products after licensed sales hours, in this case, 12:00midnight.

 

I am a licensee with grocery store/drug store license, does the Executive Order impose any new restrictions on my business?  

No, the 12:00 midnight closing time does not apply, but grocery and drug stores must continue to operate under all current DOH and SLA Guidance.   

 

I am a licensee using my on premises service privileges to hold weddings and other events and parties, must the attendees of these events leave the premises by 12:00 midnight?  

Yes, service and consumption must end at 12:00 midnight at all premises licensed for on premises consumption, and the licensee must cease operation and close to patrons at such time. 

Provided however if such event is held pursuant to the In-Person and Catered Events section of the Department of Health Interim Guidance for Food Services, and  all additional specified protocols are followed, such event may continue until 1:00 AM and all patrons must have exited at or before that time. 

I am a licensee operating a movie theater, must moviegoers leave the theater by 12:00 midnight?  

No, however all food and beverage service must end daily at or before 12:00 midnight. Operations may continue until the earlier of any stipulated closing time or the county closing time.

 

I am a licensee operating a bowling alley, must bowlers leave the alley by 12:00 midnight? 

No, however all food and beverage service must end daily at or before 12:00 midnight.    Operations may continue until the earlier of any stipulated closing time or the county closing time.

 

I am a licensee operating a casino, must I close at 12:00 midnight? 

No, however all food and beverage service must end daily at or before 12:00 midnight. Operations may continue until the earlier of any stipulated closing time or the county closing time.  If you are serving alcoholic beverages and are licensed by the Gaming Commission, you may be subject to further restriction by such Commission.