New York’s pandemic-era requirement that all bars and restaurants serve food with alcohol — yes, that really is a thing — is about to come to an end. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reign may soon come to an end as well, and those two news items are actually related.
Cuomo put the eat-when-you-drink edict into motion last summer, when he implied eating would keep people from just drinking and walking around aimlessly with a beer or mixed adult beverage in their hand.
“If you’re not eating a meal and you’re just drinking, then it’s just an outdoor bar and people are mingling and not isolated at tables,” Cuomo said at the time.
Of course, not all bars serve food. So some started giving out snacks for free. Others decided to start selling chips for $1. These became known as “Cuomo Chips,” or food served solely for the purpose of following state orders.
“We have noticed a significant increase of guests that have been coming here from different places pretty much to say, ‘We’re here for the Cuomo Chips,’” Matthew Bagley, the owner of Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar, told CNN.
But it will all soon end, perhaps as soon as next week, according to the New York Times. And it goes without saying that bar owners are thrilled with the decision.
“The public health justification for the food rule was always questionable, so this is good news because it is past time to repeal it,” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told the NY Times. “But the state also needs to repeal the rule prohibiting customers from sitting at a bar in New York City, which doesn’t make sense when you can sit at a table six feet away, and they should modify the midnight curfew.”
Cuomo, of course, has come under fire for the multiple sexual misconduct claims levied against him by current and former state employees. Some political leaders are even calling for him to resign.
But while his future is murky, the snacks bearing his name will be all but forgotten soon.
So goodbye, random bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. We hardly knew ye.