Restaurant Law Blog

Monday, August 10, 2015

UPDATE - Popular NYC Brunch Location Loses Its Liquor License

What are some scenarios that could give rise to a suspension or revocation of a liquor license in New York? 

Restaurants, bars and nightclubs expecting to sell alcohol in New York must also be prepared for the bevy of rules and regulations that apply to these establishments – or risk losing out big time.

Take, for instance, the Flatiron District’s Pranna Restaurant, which will undoubtedly face closure following a final ruling by the State Liquor Authority revoking its right to sell alcohol on the premises. Pranna’s ‘Bottomless Brunch’ feature had become such a nuisance in the neighborhood, near-constant complaints were being submitted to the SLA’s Compliance Board. Most notably, residents recalled tales of brunchers urinating on sidewalks, vomiting, engaging in loud and obnoxious monologues and essentially wreaking havoc during an otherwise conservative time of day. 

SLA prohibits unlimited drink specials, unrestrained alcohol flow

In February 2013, Pranna Hospitality, Inc., which owns and maintains the Pranna restaurant, was ordered to undergo significant changes to its business operations – primarily due to its near-constant self-promotion as a “nightclub” in violation of the parameters of its liquor license. At that time, Manhattan Community Board 5 mandated some of the following directives, which were also incorporated into the Method of Operation of Pranna’s existing liquor license with the SLA: 

  • Relocate and redirect DJ’s to play music at a reasonable volume and in designated rental areas only;
  • Change the type of music played to “dissuade a dancing atmosphere”;
  • Re-market and re-brand the establishment to eliminate the notion it is a “nightclub” as opposed to a restaurant;
  • Stop alcohol service by 4 a.m. on weekends, and 11p.m. on weeknights; and
  • Use at least six security guards during “busy brunch times”

Nonetheless, Pranna continued to operate its brunch operation in a classically “rowdy” manner, allegedly overserving guests – who inevitably spilled into the adjacent sidewalks and streets. Pranna officially lost its liquor license on June 25, 2015, making it highly likely it will go out of business within a short time. 

If you are concerned about compliance laws and would like to speak to a reputable New York City restaurant law and liquor license attorney, please contact the DiPasquale Law Group today: 646-383-4607. 

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