Following charges from the SLA related to "interlocking interests," Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich will close the wine store at Eataly for six months, and they will pay the state $500,000 in fines. Crain's reports that the restaurateurs reached a settlement with the state today, and as a part of the deal, Lidia Bastianich will also be removed from the Eataly liquor license. The Bastianich family has been in the wine making business for several years now, and it seems that the SLA took issue with the fact that they were both wine producers and retailers. The closing date of the wine store will be determined by the state.
News about the charges against Batali and Co. first surfaced last week. After taking a close look at the SLA documents and chatting with a wine lawyer, Eater editor Levi Dalton wrote: "Whether or not the Eataly wine shop will close for six months in the future may be decided on March 25, but it is unlikely that the result will be a license suspension for any of the restaurants associated with Mario Batali or Joe Bastianich." After today's ruling, it looks like the liquor licenses of the Batali/Bastinich restaurants are safe for now.
· Eataly Wine Store to Close in Liquor-License Dispute [Crain's]
· A Full Explanation of Batali & Bastianich's SLA Issues [~ENY~]