NEW YORK (WWTI) – Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to update the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and authorize the New York State Liquor Authority to grant eligible catering facilities a license to serve liquor at weddings, banquets or other functions held at off-site locations, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“Let’s raise a glass to newlyweds, whose love and mutual affection are an inspiration to us all,” Governor Hochul said. “By signing this new law, we are taking a significant step to support caterers and other small businesses — while helping married couples plan the celebration they’ve always dreamed of. I’m proud to sign this bill into law and will keep fighting for our hospitality sector and all small businesses.”

The new legislation modifies the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law to create a new license for catering businesses without dining facilities to serve alcoholic beverages at the location where the event is taking place.

Many catering businesses throughout the state do not have a facility that meets the principal requirements to apply for a catering license, a kitchen and a dining or banquet hall with the ability to serve and seat at least 50 people. The facilities needed to apply for temporary permits that would only allow them only to serve beer, wine and cider at the off-site events.

“New York’s antiquated and confusing liquor laws make it nearly impossible for small catering businesses to get off the ground without a big investment in their own event space, and at a time when so many of these businesses are still struggling from the pandemic era, they deserve a break from onerous and costly regulations,” State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-NY) said. “I’m grateful for Governor Hochul signing my simple bill that will support small catering businesses and give consumers more options for hosting special events, and I’m thankful for her leadership to improve New York’s small business climate.”

With the legislation, caterers that have a facility with a kitchen, but not the capacity to seat 50 people, can now apply for an off-premises catering license, allowing them to serve liquor in addition to beer, wine and cider at the location of the event.