ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–Alcohol to-go is back. The New York State Legislature approved it in the newly passed state budget. However, in order to get a to-go cup, you need to buy substantial food to go with it.

On Monday, the New York State Liquor Authority provided some clarity as to which types of food customers need to buy to go along with their alcohol to-go orders. Items such as sandwiches, soups, salads, hotdogs, and wings are considered substantial food items. But a bag of chips, candy, or even just a handful of lettuce are not.

Restaurant owner Dominick Purnomo has been an advocate for alcohol to-go.

“During the pandemic, it was certainly a vital lifeline,” explained Purnomo, who owns Yono’s in Albany. “A lot of people were getting takeout food and they wanted the restaurant experience at home and that includes some of the cocktails that we have that have five, six, seven, different ingredients in it. It’s not things that people have stocked in their home bar. It’s not things that people probably have the time or the patience for. This allows them to create that experience once again in the comfort and the convenience of their own home.”

Assemblywoman Pat Fahy sponsored a bill for alcohol to-go. She credits her colleagues in the Assembly, as well as Gov. Kathy Hochul for getting it passed. She said to her, it is about so much more than just promoting alcohol.

“This is about making sure that we support the economic revitalization of our main streets and our downtown quarters that have suffered so much during COVID,” said Fahy.

Alcohol to-go has been authorized for the next three years. It prohibits restaurant owners from selling full bottles of alcohol to customers.

The New York State Liquor Authority also made it clear that the contents of a bottle of wine or liquor cannot be transferred into a same or equivalent bottle. This would be a violation of law.