Liquor Licensing

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Choosing a Location for your Restaurant or Bar

There are many factors to consider when deciding where to lease space for a restaurant or bar- including the high cost of rent, the size of the space, and the accessibility of the space/location within a busy city.  Included in this consideration should be how evaluating any obstacles you might encounter in obtaining your liquor license, including the following: 

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Crowdfunding; Multiple Investors and New York State Liquor Authority Disclosure Issues

Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular way for business owners to gain the financial backing they need to turn their concepts into realities. In recent years, websites like have helped thousands of entrepreneurs obtain access to the funds they needed to get their projects off the ground. With the internet age upon us, the ability to reach people, and beg them for a few dollars, is easier than ever. However, would-be restaurateurs have not been as successful as other small business owners seeking financial backing in these arenas.
Read more . . .

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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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Free Seminars: Legal Considerations when opening a bar or restaurant. Restaurant Management Boot Camp 2.0


Downtown Location:  September 13, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Uptown Location:  September 28, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Downtown Location: 79 John St., 2nd Fl, New York, NY 10038
Uptown Location:  361 West 125th St., 2nd Fl, New York, NY 10027

Seminar Description:  An insider look at tips, tricks, and best practices to start your first restaurant in NYC, presented by Restaurant Attorney James D. DiPasquale.  To start and run a successful restaurant you must understand many different legal considerations which make operating in New York City, particularly unique. Whether you are a new or existing restaurant owner, this special follow-up to the Restaurant Management Boot Camp class will help you gain a deeper understanding of all of the basic requirements to get your business up and running.

-Forming a Corporation or Limited Liability Company (pros/cons of each)

-Partnership Considerations (The legalities of dealing with your business partners and investors)

-Finding  your restaurant space (Buying an existing restaurant vs. straight lease)

-Negotiating your Restaurant’s lease

-Applying for a Liquor License

-General discussion on permits needed (food service/cabaret/sidewalk café, etc.)

To Register:

For the Downtown seminar:  click HERE or paste the following link into your web browser:

For the Uptown seminar, click HERE or paste the following link into your web browser:

Read more . . .

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 . . .

Friday, June 12, 2015

Two Cinema Chains Seek to Serve Alcohol in NYC Theaters

Is it legal to drink alcohol in a movie theater in New York City? 

Traditionally speaking, cinematic cocktails were reserved for the actors on screen (think: “shaken, not stirred”) and moviegoers were limited to the overpriced soft drink selections available adjacent to the box office. Over the past several years, cinema outfits in several states have reported great success in combining the theatrical experience with wine and spirits – prompting local New York entrepreneurs to push for a similar allowance.

In Brooklyn’s Nighthawk Theaters, guests are permitted to order drinks directly from servers who discreetly serve the entire theater during the showing of the latest thought-provoking indie film – despite a decades-long ban on alcohol in the cinemaplex. How did this theater get around the prohibition? After aggressive lobbying attempts by both interested groups and the owner himself, the New York General Assembly opted to lighten the mood a little and allow for cocktail service, so long as dinner was also being served in the theater as well. Moreover, patrons were required to leave their seats and procure a drink from a designated bar area – making it all the more difficult to follow a delicately laid-out plot twist.
Read more . . .

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Brooklyn Community Board Alleged to be Engaging in Questionable Liquor Licensing Practices

Is the public invited to attend liquor license approval procedures?

In certain jurisdictions within the state of New York, a smaller “Community Board” is notified prior to the State Liquor Control Authority in the event an entity wishes to apply for a liquor license. Under the regulations, a Community Board must be notified at least 30 days prior to the filing of an application for a license, and proof of this notification must accompany the application for licensure, which is submitted directly to the SLCA.

While the Community Board is not permitted to approve or deny a liquor license, its role is generally limited to discussing the applicant’s intent, the impact the license could have on the surrounding neighborhood, and whether an issuance of the license is in the community’s best interest. At that point, the Board issues a written opinion to the SLCA, which then makes its own independent decision using the Board’s submission as a factor.

Confusion at Bushwick Community Board

Under state regulations, the public at large is welcome to attend Community Board meetings in all five boroughs, and may even offer testimony upon request.
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, April 30, 2015

Community Group Battles Bars, Opposes Liquor Licenses

Can a block association stop a restaurant or bar from getting a liquor license?

Would-be restaurant and bar owners in New York may find that gaining approval of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) is harder than usual for establishments on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. A group known as the LES Dwellers has made it its mission to stop new nightspots from opening in "Hell Square," a nickname the group gave a nine-block area saturated with bars and restaurants.

The LES Dwellers object to the hordes of young people loitering outside of clubs, urinating, vomiting and sometimes literally falling down drunk. The crowds, they complain, make the streets impassable.
Read more . . .

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