Christos Valtzoglou, owner of the Greek restaurant Boukiés at the corner of Second and Second in the East Village, has filed a lawsuit against the State Liquor Authority alleging that the SLA strong-armed him into agreeing with the Community Board to never apply to upgrade from a beer-and-wine license to a full one. The lawsuit claims that the SLA would only grant the beer-and-wine license on this condition, further claiming that the Authority doesn't actually have the power to force this condition.
Per DNAinfo, this goes back to 2009 when Valtzoglou opened Heartbreak, a German restaurant in the space currently occupied by Boukiés. The lawsuit says he agreed to the stipulation "reluctantly," on the assumption that his application would otherwise be denied, and argues that this sort of strong-arming is illegal. It further alleges that the Heartbreak model relied on a full liquor license, so this deal effectively killed that restaurant.
Now, with Valtzoglou having reopened the space as Boukiés back in 2011, he's been trying to get that full liquor license. Those attempts have been blocked because of the deal, at a CB3 meeting in September of 2011 and at a full SLA meeting last summer.
· East Village Restaurant Sues Over 'Illegal' Liquor License Agreement [DNAinfo via EV Grieve]