WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES JANUARY 6, 2022 13
Bring back ‘alcohol-to-go’ to keep more NYC businesses alive
BY KEN GOLDBERG
New York City’s bars, taverns,
clubs and entertainment centers are
suff ering another crisis at this time.
As COVID-19 has returned to record
rates, this has provoked fear among
consumers and patrons, disrupting
many entertainment and hospitality
In the past two weeks, many watering
holes and food locations have
closed. It’s a combination of customers
being frightened by COVID-19 and staying
away; many business or holiday
parties being canceled; and, for many
businesses, not being able to have adequate
staff because workers have either
gotten sick, are taking precautions
or have become discouraged.
Government policymakers have
lost credibility with many of these
aff ected people because of confl icting
information. Yet the government needs
to become immediately proactive so
many of these small businesses are
able to survive.
Government should now allow —
even encourage — bars, taverns, clubs
and entertainment centers to offer
curbside alcoholic beverages, including
mixed cocktails, and food. These
locations should also be allowed to
off er bottle service.
The NYS Liquor Authority must
do much more to boost business. For
example, anyone who reviews the authority’s
website together with the NYC
website about opening a bar, tavern or
club will be completely turned off by
the diffi culty due to many bureaucratic
hurdles. This broken system has to be
transformed where entrepreneurs
and operators willing to risk capital
in opening an establishment are embraced
with effi cient help.
Most important, the NYS Liquor
Authority and law enforcement needs
to cease and desist with playing “gotcha”
fi ning, penalizing bars, taverns and
clubs for a variety of slight infractions.
During the fi rst COVID-19 crisis
under Governor Andrew Cuomo, these
establishment owners experienced a
“reign of terror” with all sorts of agency
inspectors who wrote summonses and
even closed down places! How did any
of this support business owners, who
then would have to lay off employees
and halt paying their rent and utilities,
and even their taxes?
Instead of hurting responsible,
decent business owners, employees at
these government agencies should instead
be prioritized on safeguarding us
against threats by criminals, mentally
ill and homeless who pose a dangerous
presence on our streets.
Truth be told, here’s what I am seeing
“on the street” every day: Many bars,
taverns and clubs are one step away
from going out of business because of
COVID-19’s latest economic blow.
Ken Goldberg is principal owner of
Emerson Amusement of Woodside and
president of the Amusement and Music
Owners Association of New York.
READING AT MACDONALD PARK
PHOTO BY JOE ABATE
Send us your photos of Queens
and you could see them online or in our paper!
To submit them to us, tag @qnsgram on Instagram,
visit our Facebook page, tweet @QNS
or email email@example.com (subject: Queens Snaps).