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Lawmakers, restaurant owners want to repeal emergency orders

Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 17:50:22-05

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — Restaurant owners and lawmakers are looking to throw out some of Governor Cuomo's Emergency Orders aimed at restaurants, including that mandate that you must order food with all orders of alcohol.

Republican lawmakers - including State Senator George Borrello - introduced a resolution Wednesday to repeal that mandate

"I just think there's no basis in science whatsoever for having to purchase alcohol with food. There's several other nonsensical arguments like this," he said.

"Something that I think a lot of establishments would benefit from, is losing the curfew completely," said Jimmy Butera, owner of Butera's Craft Beer & Craft Pizza.

Senator Borrello said getting rid of the curfew would give restaurant staff more time to disinfect and clear out tables.

"If someone comes and sits down and orders some food at 10:30 and they're not done at 11:00 you're obligated to kick them out. And that's just not good business," he said.

Butera said the rules can't be a one size fits all.

"It's important that all the restaurant establishments, bars, restaurants and everybody, have the same level playing field. And right now we don't," he said. "There are some places that can't reopen even with the 75 percent [capacity] because their place is too small."

But one emergency order some restaurants are looking to keep is the sale of takeout alcohol, which is a lifeline for many.

"There's a lot of restaurants out there that are really staying alive based on that. So seeing that be a real law or a real event forever would be a huge benefit," said Butera.

Butera said these are all steps in the right direction, but there's a long road of rebuilding ahead for businesses deeply impacted by the pandemic.