Angelino Urging Legislature to Act to Lift Senseless Curfew on Restaurants and Bars

Assemblyman Joseph Angelino (R,C,I-Norwich), along with the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences, introduced a joint resolution to overturn the governor’s mandates limiting restaurant and bar operation to an 11 p.m. curfew and the requirement that a food purchase be made with alcoholic beverage orders. The Legislature has the power to overturn the governor’s mandates. This joint resolution would provide a way for the Legislature to act now and give much-needed relief to these small businesses.

“It was only 18 days ago that the Assembly Majority, in a show of political theater, made a big deal about ‘repealing’ the governor’s authority over every aspect of our lives – now they have a real chance to do something about it,” said Angelino. “The governor’s unyielding control over restaurants, bars and taverns leaves his mandates in place without any scientific reasoning as to why these hospitality businesses need an 11 p.m. curfew or a food requirement with a drink in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It makes no sense, especially since this mandate has been lifted on other businesses such as pool halls, casinos and more. With the 122nd Assembly district sharing a border with Pennsylvania, where the restrictions will soon be lifted, we do not need to give any more reason for businesses to leave New York.”

The governor recently announced that the 11 p.m. curfew would be lifted on April 5 for pool halls, casinos, gyms and bowling alleys, but not restaurants and bars.

Angelino feels the governor’s curfew on dining and drinking establishments is excessive, considering that contact tracing figures from December 2020 show that only 1.43 percent of COVID-19 cases could be attributed to spread in these establishments. Earlier this year, a NYS Supreme Court judge ruled in favor of 100 Erie County restaurants to lift the 11 p.m. curfew.

The pandemic response has hurt the industry significantly. The NYS Restaurant Association notes that 1 in 6 restaurants in the state has closed as a result of the lockdown and restrictions on the industry. A report from the state comptroller reported nearly 160,000 restaurant jobs were lost in New York City alone, with roughly one-third of restaurants having closed.