New York Governor Kathy Hochul wants to permanently legalize the sale of cocktails to-go as part of a small business recovery plan outlined in her first state of the state address Wednesday afternoon.

“Thousands of bars and restaurants, the souls of our neighborhoods, have had to close,” Hochul said. “We're also going to do something bars and restaurants have been asking for; to once again allow the sale of to-go drinks — a critical revenue stream during the lean times last year.”

The measure will require a change in law from the state legislature that will likely be hammered out during the budget process this spring, though Hochul holds significant sway over that process. The proposal was a piece of the governor's nearly $10 billion relief plan for small businesses, who’ve struggled through two years of a devastating pandemic. Other components include a tax credit for small businesses for COVID-19-related expenses and seed funding grants.

Read More: What It Would Take To Make To-Go Cocktails A Permanent Reality In NYC

The alcohol to-go policy was first enacted in March of 2020 by former Governor Andrew Cuomo by way of an executive order when bars and restaurants were shuttered at the height of New York’s first pandemic wave. The provision expired this past June, to the dismay of restaurateurs and New Yorkers who’d grown accustomed to cocktails-to-go. An effort to legalize alcohol to-go through the Legislature failed to pass at the time.

Andrew Rigie, the executive director of New York City Hospitality Alliance, welcomed Hochul’s support of the to-go drinks policy, saying it was vitally important for the livelihood of bars and restaurants, and generally supported by the public.

“The drinks to go policy provides critically important revenue streams to struggling restaurants and bars and is extraordinarily popular with the public, unsurprisingly,” he said. “We look forward to toasting her administration and the state legislature once this important policy is reinstated.”

Sother Teague, the beverage director at Overthrow Hospitality, which owns a constellation of bars and restaurants in the East Village, said he was eager for the restoration of take-out drinks. At his cocktail bar Amor y Amargo, cocktails to-go and bottle sales made up nearly 10 percent of his weekly revenue this past year, until the rules were suddenly changed in June. 

“We’re still just kind of treading water,” he said. “It’s exciting and I’m very hopeful that it comes back quickly.”