It was in the early stages of the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order making it so New Yorkers weren't allowed to order any alcohol without the purchase of food. Today, that order was extended by another month and many Central New Yorkers are angry.

According to the New York State Liquor Authority, the food requirement with drink purchases will "continue until May 6, 2021, but may be extended or reduced depending on circumstances."

For many businesses here in Utica/Rome, the amount of money made in the bar strictly on alcohol sometimes can double or triple what is done in food sales. As we head in a direction where the Mohawk Valley COVID rate is among some of the lowest in the state, it's something that many think is unnecessary.

Gary Johnson is a local musician who plays at bars and restaurants all over Central New York. He believes the addition of food did nothing to positively help contain the spread of COVID-19.

All it did was add an inconvenience that people had to deal with. A lot of people are just ordering food, taking a couple of bites and going about what they would normally do. It's more or less just a tax on going out to have a good time, but it's not keeping people in their seats longer. It's not doing anything other than being a pain and hindering bars.

On the flip side of things, Cuomo extended "alcohol to-go" for another month. 

A spokesman for Governor Cuomo tells the Times Union in Albany, the administration realizes the boost these beverages have been for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. “We understand the positive impact this has had for businesses during this trying time," Rich Azzopardi, senior adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, told the Times Union.

With this, bars are also required to enforce customers purchase food in order to get their drinks to go.

While restaurants and some local elected leaders are in favor of that executive order, they are not in favor of the other that requires food to be purchased with alcoholic beverages at restaurants, according to WKBW. 

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