Liquor License Violations

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Why Lawyers Kill Commercial Real Estate Deals and How to Spot a Bad Deal in Advance

Free Seminar:  Why Lawyers Kill Commercial Real Estate Deals and How to Spot a Bad Deal in Advance
When:  Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Where:  NYC Small Business Solutions, 110 William Street, New York, NY (7th Floor Boardroom)
Seminar Description: Are you tired of spending countless hours showing a property and negotiating a deal, only to have lawyers get involved and kill the transaction?  How can this be avoided?  This seminar is designed to assist commercial real estate brokers identify problematic deal terms before their time is wasted.  The seminar will focus on:

  • Is your ‘non-binding’ letter of intent actually binding?
  • How to properly structure a letter of intent for various transactions (e.g. sale, lease, investment)
  • Identifying hidden lease expenses (i.e.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

State Liquor Authority Battles Albany Wine Retailer Over Out-of-State Shipping Restrictions

Can the State Liquor Authority regulate the retail sale of wine?

The State Liquor Authority (SLA) is the agency responsible for issuing liquor licenses, regulating alcohol sales, and doling out punishments to bars and restaurants caught violating the various regulations surrounding the industry. However, many are beginning to consider whether the SLA has actually gone too far within the context of retail wine and beer sales – particularly with regard to the out-of-state shipment of orders from local wineries and microbrews.

In one ongoing battle, upstate New York’s Empire Wines has sought an answer to this very question, and is engaging in ongoing litigation to help clarify the breadth of powers the SLA may use against New York-based companies engaged in the out-of-state sale of wine, beer and liquor. So far, the SLA has imposed several citations against Empire Wines, based primarily on the premise that the states to which it is shipping alcohol have their own prohibitions against the interstate shipment of alcohol. In other words, Empire Wines is exporting wines to states from which wine export is prohibited.

In its defense, Empire Wines has pointed out the blatant fact that it is not breaking any laws in the state of New York by shipping wines to places that do not allow their own businesses to engage in similar practices. In essence, Empire Wines asserts that the SLA’s charge of “improper conduct” is, in and of itself, an improper exercise of power by the agency and should be stopped through legislation.

Earlier this year, a bill that would put a stop to the SLA’s enforcement powers over perceived violations of laws in other states – especially when no other state has made a finding of guilt against a New York-based retailer-- passed both houses of the New York State legislature with broad support.

This bill is awaiting Governor Cuomo's signature. The governor has publicly voiced his support of New York’s growing winery and microbrew industry.

If you are facing a difficulties regarding SLA regulations and would like to discuss your options with an experienced liquor license attorney, please contact DiPasquale Law Group, serving the greater New York City metropolitan area, at 646.383.4607.

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.

Read more . . .

Friday, June 26, 2015

Hotel & Conference Center Loses Liquor License Privileges Following Near-Fatal Parking Lot Brawl

Can a bartender or server be held liable in New York for overserving patrons, resulting in injury or death? 

New York laws and regulations are particularly stringent in protecting its citizens from the deadly effects of alcohol. From the initial licensing process, to the Dram Shop Act, there are a number of ways in which a bartender, restaurant, or other for-profit establishment can run into hot water when implementing alcohol service. Fortunately, working with an established and experienced New York restaurant and bar lawyer can help businesses protect themselves and remain aware of the evolving New York laws applicable to the issue.

New York Establishment Loses Liquor License Following Fight

In May, 2015, a Newburgh, New York restaurant and conference center found itself in the aftermath of an alcohol-fueled parking lot scuffle that not only resulted in several arrests, but led to the indefinite suspension of its privilege to serve alcohol to its guests. According to reports, police responded to several disturbance calls at the Read more . . .

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NYC Pub Loses Liquor License Over Failing to Notify the State Liquor Authority of its Cuisine Changes

My bar/restaurant is thinking of changing its menu. Are there any special compliance measures we should take? 

In a recent case involving a Lower East Side American pub restaurant, owners were shocked to learn that changes in menu offerings and bar hours could result in a revocation of their liquor license, as well as bring about hefty fines and penalties.

The restaurant, known as the Sixth Ward, was restyled in 2008 as an American/Irish pub-style bistro, offering regular bar fare and a full bar menu.
Read more . . .

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Underground “Supper Clubs”

Restaurant goers are always looking for the next new and exciting dining experience. It is no surprise, then, that “underground supper clubs” are becoming increasingly popular – not only in New York City, but throughout the world. An underground supper club allows diners to reserve a spot in someone’s private home where they pay the host for their meal.

Several companies have created websites to facilitate these intimate and unique gatherings. For example, EatWith is a company that was founded in 2012 in Tel Aviv and has quickly expanded in Europe, South America and now the United States. While other countries may be more accepting of this practice, health and sanitation laws in the United States present huge roadblocks for supper club enthusiasts.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Common Misconceptions about Your Liquor License: The Truth About BYOB, Open Bars, Bottomless Brunches, and License Transfers

Can I allow customers to “BYOB” while my liquor license application is pending?

NO! Restaurants and bars may not allow customers to “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Bottle) while a license is pending. Although we have all seen establishments advertise that they are “BYOB,” doing so without a license is not legal in New York State and puts you at risk of getting your pending (or future) license application denied by the State Liquor Authority. Establishments that want to allow customers to BYOB must apply to the State Liquor Authority for a “bottle club license.”

Can my establishment host an open bar? Can we serve “bottomless brunches”?

NO! The Alcoholic Beverage and Control Law prohibits open bars. Specifically, the law does not allow patrons to pay a fixed price for an unlimited number of drinks during a set time. For this same reason, “bottomless brunches” where patrons can pay for a brunch meal with unlimited mimosa, bloody marys, etc. is illegal.  The State Liquor Authority does allow, however, “2 for 1” drinks and other similar drink specials as long as the price of a drink is not lower than ½ of the premise’s regular drink price.

I am buying a restaurant that already has a liquor license. Can the seller transfer the liquor license to me?

Read more . . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

State Liquor Authority – When Enforcing The Rules Goes Awry

The owner of a popular Greenpoint hotspot is suing the NYPD following its July 10, 2011 investigation and raid of Coco66 which is owned and operated by David Kelleran. In the lawsuit, Kelleran claims that the NYPD wrongfully poured out the club's entire inventory of wine, beer and liquor, because Kelleran's adjacent restaurant "68", had inadvertently bounced a check to the SLA — meaning that their liquor license was in jeopardy of being revoked. The SLA gave “68” 10 days to correct the mistake, but antsy police officers from Brooklyn's 94th Precinct rushed into Coco66 on the 5th day and dumped all the booze. Realizing their mistake (that they were in the wrong place not that they were 5 days too early), they proceeded to "68" where they dumped out all the booze. Kelleran estimates that the dumping cost his businesses "thousands and thousands" of dollars. If you find yourself having to deal with the State Liquor Authority or local police concerning a liquor issue, consult an experienced attorney knowledgeable of the Alcohol and Beverage Control Law. Doing so might save you "thousands and thousands" of dollars.


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