When an email arrives from David Rabin - owner of Double Seven and Lotus; president of the NY Nightlife Association; gentleman about town - marked urgent it is never a good sign. (Special invites are usually marked normal.) The consummate champion of nightlife owners' rights, these days he's got his work cut out for him. But this email was not, specifically, about the E.U. takedown or even the Tribeca situation. More pressing: a set of codes that will freeze all liquor licenses in areas that have at least three licensed venues within 500' of each other (the '500-foot law'). There are currently 500-foot regulations on the books, though they are generally not enforced, with a stricter bill being evaluated.
Rabin and others are taking this quite seriously. And while we understand the delicate matter of protecting neighborhoods from nightlife ruin, Eater is firmly behind Rabin on this issue. In short, responsible owners are to be rewarded; those who are reckless should bear the brunt of the punishment.
As our man says, "this is no false alarm...we must ALL act now..." The official rally cry from the Nightlife Association:
Subject: URGENT LIQUOR LICENSE NEWS ALERT
ASSEMBLY BILL URGING FREEZE ON NEW LIQUOR LICENSES MOST EXISTING LICENSES ALSO IN PERIL
New legislation has been proposed in the Assembly in Albany, which has already passed one committee, which will freeze liquor licenses at their current locations in cities and towns with a population over 20,000. This will make it impossible to apply for a license at a new location if there are already three or more existing liquor licenses within a 500' radius (that is about 2 blocks). Since virtually all of Manhattan as well as most commercial areas around the City and State already have that number of licenses, this will mean no new licenses issued anywhere a restaurant or bar or club is allowed.
To make matters worse,
if that is possible, this law, if passed, would also prohibit the transfer of any liquor license issued after November 1, 2003 if there are now three or more liquor licenses in a 500' radius, making the sale of that business all but impossible.Caps lock, clearly not ours.
Instead of punishing irresponsible operators, this is an overly broad, blanketing legislation that is anti-business, anti-growth, anti-revenue and will knock NY even farther back in its quest to remain the #1 tourist destination in the USA.
If businesses cannot obtain liquor licenses at new locations, this bill will mean no new hotels, no new commercial developments, no market place ebb and flow of neighborhoods. It will also lock in those areas currently complaining of saturation as permanent liquor locations. It will be a disaster for New York State.
YOU MUST ACT NOW!!! SEND THIS EMAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED, LANDLORDS, DEVELOPERS, HOTEL OWNERS, BAR, CLUB AND RESTAURANT OWNERS, ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO ARE OPEN MINDED, EMPLOYEES, UNIONS, ETC. EMAIL ASSEMBLY SPEAKER SHELDON SILVER at email@example.com or CALL HIM AT (212) 312-1420 TELL HIM YOU VOTE AND ARE OPPOSED TO BILL A10191. ALSO EMAIL THE MAYOR here.
Also, plan on attending a hearing the Assembly has scheduled in Manhattan on May 5th @ 10:00 a.m. at 250 Broadway, NYC!!!!
· 500-Foot Hearings [NYS Liquor Authority]