Update: Chicken Wings Are Considered a Meal at New York Bars
Many New Yorkers were outraged after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said ordering chicken wings aren't considered a meal for bars and restaurants to sell alcohol to a customer.
Recently, Cuomo placed many new regulations for all New York bars and restaurants.
Bars and restaurants across New York State can only serve alcohol to people who also order food and there will be no walk-up bar service. Officials also say all service at bar tops must only be for seated customers who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers and also eating.
To get around the new rule, some New York bars started selling small items like "Cuomo Chips." While Handshakes in Dutchess County sold "Tappan Zee Onion Rings" and "Cuomo Fries" for $1. A bar in Westchester sold cheese and crackers for 50 cents.
On Thursday, Cuomo confirmed those businesses must sell meals, or as he put it substantive food, in order to allow customers to purchase alcohol.
"To be a bar, you had to have food available—soups, sandwiches, etc.," Cuomo said on Thursday during a press briefing. "More than just hors d'oeuvres, chicken wings, you had to have some substantive food. The lowest level of substantive food were sandwiches."
Cuomo saying chicken wings aren't a meal angered many Empire State residents. However, in updated guidelines, The New York State Liquor Authority cleared things up and noted chicken wings count as "substantive food."
"As a restaurant or bar owner, in determining whether a particular item is substantial enough, please keep in mind the purpose of this policy: to ensure that patrons are enjoying a sit-down dining experience among a small group with drinks, i.e. a meal, and not a drinking, bar-type experience. A drinking, bar-type experience often involves or leads to mingling and other conduct that is non-compliant with social distancing and the use of face-covering and is therefore not yet a safe activity during the current health emergency. The spikes/resurgence of COVID-19 cases that this has caused in other states is something that New York must avoid at all costs," the SLA wrote in updated guidance.
According to the SLA along with sandwiches and meals other foods that qualify are "salads, wings, or hotdogs" however, "a bag of chips bowl of nuts, or candy" do not count.