New York 2025 Budget Liquor Law Changes

There are significant changes in the liquor laws included in the state budget for 2025 signed by Governor Hochul. One of the provisions eliminates the 30-day waiting period to file an on-premises license application with the New York State Liquor Authority after notice is given to the local community board or municipality. Applications can now be filed simultaneously with the giving of that notice.

In 2022, legislation was enacted allowing cocktails to go. The sunset of that law has been extended from 2025 to 2030.

The 2025 budget also allows the licensing of movie theaters for full liquor. The prior law only permitted movie theatres to serve liquor if it met the definition of a restaurant.  Under the new law, snacks such as popcorn and candy are sufficient for movie theaters to meet the food requirement for a license.

Changes were also made regarding one-day caterer’s permits. Prior law required any permit for full liquor to be limited to indoor or tented outdoor spaces. The new law now allows private event permits to be issued for outdoor events.

Another change eliminates the Prohibition-era requirement that a liquor, wine, or package store be located at street level to qualify for a license.

One proposed law that did not make it into the budget was intended to eliminate the requirement that a premises had to have been licensed within the prior two year period for a new license in the City of New York to obtain a temporary permit.