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New York SLA Lawyer Guest Q&A: On Premises Liquor License Application For Your Restaurant

above-the-bar-logo.jpgWe are pleased to present you with a guest blog this week on a topic that we have been getting many questions. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

FAQ: I am thinking of opening up a restaurant with a full bar in Westchester County, New York. What do I need to do to get a license to serve beer, wine, and alcohol? Should I hire an attorney to help me obtain this license or can I file the application myself?

Obtaining a liquor license in this state has become a very complicated and difficult procedure. The type of license you are seeking is called an on premises liquor license and would allow your restaurant to serve beer, wine, and alcohol for consumption in the restaurant. Although you can visit the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) website, download an application and fill it out yourself, it is advisable to hire an experienced attorney to ensure that your application is complete and accurate. Incomplete applications or missing information can cause great delay in the approval process. Our attorneys have also filed Attorney Certifications to help many restaurant owners save months of waiting for their application to be approved.

In addition to your application for an on premises liquor license, you must also provide various documents, financial information, fill out personal questionnaires, as well as provide various photographs and diagrams, just to name a few things. Given the extensive nature of this information, this blog will only address a few of the most important considerations prior to filing your application.

If you are a new applicant or a licensee seeking a renewal of an on premises liquor license, you must file a 30 day advance Notification to the Local Municipality or Community Board of the town in which you wish to obtain such license. In other words, at least 30 days before you file your application for an on premises liquor license for your restaurant, you must notify your Local Municipality of your intent so that they can express any objections they might have.

Your restaurant’s location and surroundings are also important factors in determining whether and how long it will take your application to get approved. For example, the 200 Feet rule is an extremely important consideration to take into account before you file an application for an on premises liquor license. The Rule provides that an establishment cannot be licensed to sell liquor at retail if it is on the same street and within 200 feet of a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship. The SLA specifically sets forth how to take measurements for this rule. Given its complexity and importance, it is advisable to hire an attorney to ensure that you are in compliance.

The 500 Feet Rule is another important consideration prior to filing your application. The Rule provides that when applying for an on premises liquor license, if there are already 3 or more establishments with the same type of license within 500 feet of the premises you wish to license, then your license cannot be approved unless the SLA finds that issuing the license would be in the public’s best interests. The Rule requires the SLA to consult with the community board to conduct a hearing to determine whether issuing a license would be in the public’s best interest. Our attorneys have helped many restaurant owners wishing to obtain an on premises liquor license ensure that this rule did not prevent or delay their chances of obtaining a license.

If you’re interested in obtaining a liquor license, whether it is for a restaurant, bar or pub, grocery store, or liquor store and time is of the essence, our experienced attorneys will give you personalized attention to make sure that you application gets approved in the fastest time possible. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you obtain your liquor license without any delays.


Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

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