Yes, you can finally have that free water brought to your table while dining out, guilt-free.
That’s because an arcane local regulation on serving unsolicited H2O has finally been revoked. So go ahead and drink up – you can even have refills!
The rule – a subdivision of Section 20-08 of Chapter 20 of Title 15 of the Rules of the City of New York Governing and Restricting the Use and Supply of Water unequivocally prohibits serving water in a restaurant unless a patron requests it, predates Prohibition and was basically unknown by anyone who works in hospitality – was finally deemed unnecessary.
But the repeal of this unknown regulation won’t have much of any effect on the water drinking habits of NYC’s diners, since no one even knew about it.
“I have a restaurant for 27 years, but I never knew that,” Jean-Claude Baker, the owner of Chez Josephine in the theater district, told the New York Times. “But we always ask, ‘Would you like some good New York water or some mineral water?’”
But not because of the law. Most restaurants offer the option of “flat or sparkling” water when guests sit down so that they can upsell.
A. J. Black, the owner of Il Tesoro on the Upper East Side added, “Today, you have to give people options. We offer bottled for $6 and filtered for $5. The tap water, we just give it away.”
Now, New Yorkers are free to drink up – with no consequence.
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