Good news: effective immediately, you are no longer required to order food when your order drinks at restaurants in Utica/Rome. That means when you go to Nail Creek, you won't have to get that cookie. When at 12 North, you won't need to get the pasta salad, and you won't have to order the "Cuomo Chips" at Sickenburger Lane.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been on a roll announcing numerous changes to pandemic related executive orders. The latest change involves the executive order he issued last summer, requiring bars and restaurants to sell food with all booze sales. The Democrat-led state Legislature voted Wednesday to remove Cuomo’s pandemic-era rule.

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According to the NY Post, the resolution passed both chambers unanimously with bipartisan support — the state Senate approving the measure 61-0, followed by the state Assembly’s 149-0 approval.

From personal experience, the enforcement of this rule was hard. Being a waitress and having to pay close enough attention was challenging enough pre-pandemic. This rule was put into place by Cuomo with the intention that it would help fend off rowdy drinking crowds that could lead to the spread of COVID-19. That definitely was not the case, and if anything, it made the jobs of industry workers harder, as many customers were not interested in complying.

With this rule no longer in place, and with the curfew being lifted for bars and restaurants so they can stay open later beginning in May, the industry has the opportunity to thrive again.

Hopefully, the ease of restrictions is a great beginning for everyone in Central New York.

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