Bars and restaurants in the city have been hit hard by the pandemic, and though they’re allowed to open partially, it’s come with some roadblocks…
Besides only allowing outdoor dining, one of the biggest obstacles, specifically for bars, is the requirement that food must be served alongside any alcoholic drinks.
“Under current law, only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages,” the announcement read. They also must “only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food.” The main reason is to “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.” The bar-type experiences that were previously taking place seemed to encourage crowding and partying on NYC streets.
Still, many bars were never equipped for full food service, and have therefore been finding alternative ways to meet the mandate.
So we asked our Instagram followers what some of the most…creative (aka ridiculous)…things they’ve been served while grabbing drinks in NYC, and it’s quite a list!
Enjoy the good, the bad, and the ugly of the new NYC bar foods:
1. Popcorn / Chips
Toward the end of July, the State Liquor Authority changed its initial ruling that allowed any food item to instead offer a “sit-down experience” and serve “sandwiches, soups or other such foods, whether fresh, processed, pre-cooked or frozen.” They clarified that chips, nuts or candy wouldn’t qualify, but it looks like some bars are still hanging onto the snack food varieties. One bar, though not in NYC, was famous for serving specialty “Cuomo Chips” before the specifications were released.
2. PB & J
Lots of these are a throwback to elementary school days, include a classic peanut butter & jelly. Whether you get a whole or only half sandwich depends on the bar, and if they’re really getting fancy, we’ve even heard of Nutella sandwiches being served!
3. Salad in a Tupperware Container
Maybe someone’s lunch was given out by mistake?
4. $1 pizza
Hey, this has always been a New York staple!
5. Hard Boiled Egg
At least you’ll get some protein along with your booze.
6. Piece of Bread with Cheese, Not Melted
Don’t call it a gourmet grilled cheese.
7. Single Food Items
Bars that are trying to get as much out of the food they’ve purchased as possible have been known to serve individual food items, like:
- One Mozzarella Stick
- One Meatball
- One Pickle
8. Five Peanuts
9. Hot Dogs
Cheap, easy to heat-up, plus this one definitely meets the mandate! Though don’t look for ketchup or mustard, most people have been given them completely plain, while one person said they were given a frozen one, which was later taken away?
10. Pop Tarts
Always a “substantial” meal, in our opinion.
11. Bean & Cheese Burrito
Filling, delicious, can’t go wrong.
…that were in the water carafe. Doing double-duty.
13. Shot of Gazpacho
Elevated, but simple!
14. Jolly Ranchers
Not mad about it.
16. “Don Cuomo Pizza”
Aka, a pizza bagel.
17. Piece of Bread in Saran Wrap
…no words for this one.
Of course, if you’d rather just make your own PB&J at home, you can still get to-go cocktails…
featured image source: Instagram / @doordivebedstuy