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E.U. Takedown, Day 168: "Bottle Club" laws

If there is one thing we should all learn from the E.U. takedown, it is that neighbors can be crippling when armed with Liquor Authority law books. For example, there is a rarely enforced section of the NY state alcoholic beverage control laws -- an element of article 5, section 64b, sub-paragraph 1, to be exact -- that relates to organizations known as "bottle clubs", or in Eater parlance, bars and restaurants. It turns out that any consumption of booze, whether it is supplied by said club or by its patrons, is illegal unless the establishment has a permit for this activity. As Flo Fab and others are now on the E.U. bandwagon saying (but you fine readers started suggesting early Monday), the law only rears its head when neighbors really don't want a local venue to succeed.

This is by no means the only obscure rule that can put a wrench in one's AvroKo temple. Aspiring proprietors especially, you'd be well served to commit the State Liquor Authority's website to memory. Those who are more pressed for time will enjoy the ABC Compliance FAQ. See esp. "What can I do about a noisy or rowdy bar?"

For the legal set, the governing language after the jump.

§ 64-b. License to sell liquor on premises commonly known as a bottle club. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership or corporation operating a place for profit or pecuniary gain, with a capacity for the assemblage of twenty or more persons to permit a person or persons to come to the place of assembly for the purpose of consuming alcoholic beverages on said premises, which alcoholic beverages are either provided by the operator of the place of assembly, his agents, servants or employees, or are brought onto said premises by the person or persons assembling at such place, unless an appropriate license has first been obtained from the state liquor authority by the operator of said place of assembly. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the definition of place of assembly in this chapter or any other law. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit or restrict the leasing or use of such place of assemblage as defined herein by any organization or club enumerated in subdivision seven hereof.

· NY State Liquor Authority [official site]
· Laws of NY: ABC [NY State]

A special thanks here, to the many eaters/legal advisors we didn't even know we had, who wrote us on this topic.

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