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Hochul signs legislation expanding hours for retail alcohol sales

This stock image shows bottles of liquor on shelves.
dimitris kolyris/sirylok
Adobe Stock
This stock image shows bottles of liquor on shelves.

New York state has made some changes to its alcohol beverage laws. The changes were made to update some rules that dated back to the days of Prohibition. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a package of legislation on Saturday that she said will modernize the laws affecting the sale of alcoholic beverages in the state, help small-business owners and expand options for consumers. 

“Across New York, breweries, distilleries and other alcoholic beverage businesses are creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity,” Hochul said. 

Among the changes: allowing liquor and wine stores to expand their Sunday hours so they may open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. Many of them had been opening at noon.

The new laws also allow for the sale of things like beer, mead and alcoholic cider on any day of the week. Counties can still set more restrictive hours on sales. 

The new legislation also extends the length that a brewer’s license is valid from one to three years. 

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Local Assembly members were among those sponsoring the changes, including Sarah Clark, who said that the extension for brewing licenses will help ease the burden on small businesses. 

“New York’s farm and restaurant brewers have been forced to dedicate time and resources to an annual license renewal process, while producers of other alcoholic beverages are only required to renew every three years,” Clark said. 

Assemblymember Harry Bronson, who pushed for the ability for liquor stores to be open more hours on Sunday, said the new legislation “is supporting a fair and equitable economic opportunity and liquor stores are now on an equal playing field with bars and restaurants.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.