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In a Win for State Movie Theaters, New York Opens Applications to Sell Booze During Films

Plus, another bar opens in a New York subway station — and more intel

Patrons blurred by a photographers lens pass in front of a ticket booth at a generic movie theater.
State movie theaters can now apply for licenses to serve beer and wine.
Rafael Ramirez Lee/Shutterstock

New York’s State Liquor Authority ruled on Wednesday that movie theaters can now apply for beer and wine licenses, allowing them to serve booze to customers for consumption in theater seats. According to Gothamist, the ruling concludes a multi-year debate over alcohol in theaters, which had the support of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo but not state lawmakers.

Of course, theaters in NYC like Nitehawk and Alamo Drafthouse have already been doing this for years. Under the state’s former guidelines, operators could only sell booze if they also had a commercial kitchen for preparing food and an individual table for customers at their seats. Others were able to serve alcohol at bars in their lobbies under a separate license, but not in theaters themselves.

Soon, any theater where “food is prepared and served for consumption on the premises,” including popcorn and other snacks, will be able to file for a beer or wine license, so long as they can show that alcohol sales will not be their “prime source of revenue,” according to the New York Post. Operators still can’t sell hard liquor or cocktails under the new guidance, unless they have a separate restaurant license and serve the beverages in customer seats.

Spice up your weekend bagel rotation with two pop-ups

In Prospect Heights, chefs Zoë Kanan and Libby Willis are back with their recurring weekend bagel pop-up at neighborhood cafe KIT. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the duo will serve bagels and bagel sandwiches for takeout and delivery (preorder ASAP). Meanwhile, PopUpBagel, which found fans at Brooklyn Bagelfest last year, is selling its bagels in sandwich form at Danny Meyer’s Daily Provisions cafe on the Upper West Side this Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m.

Is New York’s hottest bar crawl... the 1 subway line?

Yet another bar has opened within an underground subway station along Manhattan’s 1 train line, according to the New York Post. “It’s a weird triangle-shaped bar in [a] shitty little subway station,” owner Adrien Gallo says of Nothing Really Matters, which opened on New Year’s Eve in the 1 train’s 50th Street station, beneath Duane Reade. Gallo joins a small list of bars now operating out of New York City subways, including La Noxe, a low-lit speakeasy that opened with a 1,500 person wait list in the 1 train’s 28th Street station last year.

A new community fridge lands in Chinatown

One of the city’s best-decorated community fridges is now set up outside of Chung Pak, a housing project for low-income seniors in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The fridge, which opened in December, seeks to “to fight food insecurity along with food waste by providing free and culturally considerate food to community members in need,” according to Instagram account @mottstreetgirls. Its organizers are currently seeking volunteers to collect food donations and maintain the fridge.