Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang wants the Big Apple to become the nightlife capital again.
Yang on Tuesday said the state government should lift overly restrictive rules that are blocking the reopening of bars and eateries — hindering the city’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Bars and restaurants have been through enough this past year, but even still, they continue to be hampered by nonsensical pandemic regulations,” Yang told The Post.
“We need to stop getting in the way of policies that would help tens of thousands of hospitality workers and owners, and lift our entire economy in the process.”
Yang wants the state to grant temporary liquor licenses to eateries and pubs in New York City, which is available everywhere else in the state.
He cited a report in last week’s Post that found under current law, new or revived restaurants and pubs outside of New York City can obtain a temporary liquor permit within 30 days, while the State Liquor Authority reviews an applicant’s request for full license — a process that could take anywhere from four to six months.
Yet city establishments are not eligible for a temporary liquor license under state law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed amending the law to allow temporary booze permits for city eateries and bars, but lawmakers refused to include the measure in the recently approved state budget.
Yang is going to the Mermaid Inn in the East Village — the restaurant featured in The Post — which is seeking to re-open but can’t immediately obtain a liquor permit under current law.
Yang also wants bars and restaurants to serve customers alcoholic beverages without having to order food, something that is barred under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency executive order imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
He also wants Albany to allow seating at a bar for patrons in the city, currently forbidden under another rule put in place during the pandemic. Many pubs put tables right next to bar counters to get around the edict.
In addition, Yang wants the state to eliminate the “arbitrary closing curfew” and allow bars and restaurants to stay open until at least 2 a.m. The curfew is now midnight.
He also supports making the carry-out sale of alcohol from eateries permanent.
Yang cited a state audit that estimated 6,0000 to 12,000 of the city’s eateries are in danger of closing for good following restrictions imposed during the pandemic.