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East Village Local Sues to Ban Bottomless Brunch

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Robert Halpern says it promotes noise and “uncivil behavior”

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An East Village local is so sick of boozy brunch, he’s suing to nix it throughout the state. Robert Halpern is going up against the State Liquor Authority in hopes of get rid of a legal loophole that allows restaurants to serve unlimited booze during brunch hours, according to The Real Deal.

The suit, filed on Wednesday, argues that the number of liquor licenses in East Village has gotten out of control. The proliferation of restaurants serving bottomless brunch has led to “more noise, more crowds, and more uncivil behavior,” the complaint says.

Restaurants and bars are not usually allowed to serve unlimited alcohol, but a loophole lets them offer brunch specials because brunch is legally considered a special event, the suit says. Halpern’s suit argues that brunch should not be considered as such.

The East Village attorney listed deals from places like Pardon My French, which offers a $29.95 special for one entree and unlimited bloody marys and mimosas for an hour and a half, and Miss Lily’s 7A Cafe, which has one hour of unlimited cocktails during brunch for $15 with the purchase of an entree.

Liquor license approval is a testy topic for residents in lower Manhattan. New bars and restaurants are constantly asking for community approval to serve booze, saying that they need alcohol to run a profitable business, but many locals think that the East Village and Lower East Side are already oversaturated with places to buy booze. Most recently, the high profile Zabar family faced backlash for wanting to open in Chinatown, where neighbors said traffic and noise were already major issues on the street.

But the government has been fairly friendly to bars and restaurants as of late. Just this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed off on creating an Office of Nightlife, an agency that advocates for the needs of the restaurant and bar industry. And last year, a new law legalized serving alcohol before noon on Sundays, a helpful move for boozy brunchers.

Bottomless brunch will likely be safe for now; stay tuned as the lawsuit progresses.

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