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NEW FULL BOARD MEETING PROCEDURES

Restrictions on mass gatherings and the unavailability of event space as a result of the public health emergency requires that certain changes be made to how the Authority conduct’s its Full Board meetings. On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.1 which, among other things, suspended certain parts of the Open Meetings Law that govern meetings held by public bodies such as the Full Board. The Executive Order suspended: (1) the requirement that such meetings allow for the public to attend in person; and (2) the requirement that the members of the public body (in this case, the Members of the Authority) be present in person or participate by video-conference. The Executive Order allows the meeting to be closed to the public as long as the public is able to view the meeting and it is recorded. The Executive Order also allows Members of the Authority to participate by telephone.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, and until further notice, the Full Board meetings will be conducted in the following fashion:
  • The Meetings will be held at the Authority’s Albany Office with the Members either appearing at the meeting in person or participating by telephone.
  • The public, including those who have matters on the meeting calendar, will not be able to attend or participate in the Meeting, either at the Albany Office or by video-conference from the Authority’s Buffalo or New York Offices.
  • The Meetings will continue to be webcast live and recorded for viewing at a later date.
  • Licensees/ applicants will be required to submit anything they want considered in writing in advance of the Meeting. There will be no ability to speak to the Members during the meeting.
  • For matters scheduled for the March 24th Full Board, any such material must be submitted by 2 PM on Friday, March 20, 2020. Submissions must be emailed to the Secretary’s Office at fbsupplemental@sla.ny.gov.
  • In light of these changes:
  • A licensee in a disciplinary matter scheduled for the March 24th Full Board calendar may request that the matter be held over to the April 1, 2020 Full Board Meeting. Requests for such adjournments, which will be granted without exception, must be made by 5 PM on Monday, March 23, 2020. The requests must be emailed to the Secretary’s Office at Secretarys.Office@sla.ny.gov.
  • An applicant, or a party on the record in opposition to an application, for a licensing matter on the March 24th Full Board calendar may request that the matter be held over to either the April 1, 2020 or April 15, 2020 Full Board Meeting. Requests for such adjournments, which will be granted without exception, must be made by 5 PM on Monday, March 23, 2020. The requests must be emailed to the Secretary’s Office at Secretarys.Office@sla.ny.gov.
  • Submissions for any matter scheduled for the April 1, 2020 Full Board meeting (including those held over from the March 24th Meeting) must be emailed to fbsupplemental@sla.ny.gov by 2 PM on Friday, March 26, 2020.
  • Submissions for any matter scheduled for the April 15, 2020 Full Board Meeting (including licensing matters held over from the March 24th Meeting) must be emailed to fbsupplemental@sla.ny.gov by 2 PM on Friday, April 10, 2020.
  • Requests to hold matters over until the Full Board resumes its normal procedures, including in=person appearances by parties, will not be granted.

Bars, restaurants etc. permitted to sell alcohol, food for off-premise consumption only

New York State Liquor Authority
Restrictions for Licensees in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8:00PM until Further Notice

Pursuant to the Governor’s order, effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8:00PM, all licensed on-premises establishments (e.g. restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs, arenas, catering establishments, etc.) must cease on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages and/or food.  Additionally, all licensed manufacturers with on-premises privileges must also cease on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages and/or food; however, a licensed manufacturer may continue all manufacturing operations.  This restriction shall continue until April 15, 2020 but may be extended or reduced depending upon the circumstances.

To aid in prevention of the spread of the coronavirus and assist businesses impacted by the current state of emergency, the Governor has ordered the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to promulgate guidance on new off-premises privileges for licensed businesses with on-premises privileges.

The State Liquor Authority offers the following guidance:

  • Any on-premises licensee and any manufacturing licensee with on-premises retail privileges may sell for off-premises consumption any alcoholic beverages that it is able to sell for on premises consumption under the law.
    • For example, a tavern wine licensee may sell beer, wine, cider, mead, and wine product, but not liquor, and a farm winery may sell any New York State labeled wine, beer, cider, mead, or liquor, but not non-New York State products unless it has an on-premises license as well.
  • Alcoholic beverage sold for off-premises consumption pursuant to this guidance may be sold in any closed and sealed original container of any size.  Provided that:
    • The sale of each container shall be accompanied by the purchase of food;
    • Sales should be consistent with municipal open container ordinances.
  • Alcoholic beverages sold for off-premises consumption pursuant to this guidance may be sold for takeout from the licensed premises or may be delivered to the customer’s residence.
    • Deliveries shall be made in a vehicle permitted by the Authority (e.g., a third-party delivery service), or a vehicle-owned and -operated, or hired and operated by the licensee or its employee.  A copy of the permit or license must be present in the vehicle.
  • Alcoholic beverages sold for off-premises consumption pursuant to this guidance may only be sold during the on-premises hours of operation of the county in which the premises is located or, if different, the hours of operation set forth in the licensee’s method of operation with the Authority.

Any licensed business found to be operating in violation of the Governor’s order restricting on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages shall face a monetary penalty (retail maximum of $10,000/manufacturer maximum of $100,000), and/or suspension, cancellation, or revocation of its license.

3/16/2020 – 2:14 p.m. EDT
Please be advised that all licensing (disapproval and 500’) and disciplinary hearings [for matters in New York City, Westchester and Long Island] scheduled for the next two weeks are being postponed. For disciplinary hearings, Counsel’s Office will follow up with you on a later date to reschedule the hearing. Licensing will contact you regarding its hearings.
As of now, the March 24th Full Board Meeting is scheduled to go forward. However, the Authority is monitoring developments as well as directives being issued by Governor Cuomo. – Thomas J. Donohue, Secretary to the Authority

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UPDATED 1:05 P.M. EDT
– Bars, restaurant, wineries, brewers and distilleries must cease on-premise consumption of food and alcohol starting at 8 p.m. Monday, however, home delivery and sale for OFF-PREMISE consumption will be permitted. In other words, bars, restaurants, hotels etc. with full liquor licenses can sell beer, wine and liquor for customers to take home and can deliver as well. This isn’t normally the case. It is temporary.
– Establishments with beer/wine only license can only sell beer/wine only for off-premise consumption (take out or delivery).
– Off-premise licensees so far unaffected.
. – The Liquor Authority will release additional rules and guidance by 5 p.m. Monday. When that happens, we will update this website.

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3/16/2020 – 12:33 P.M. EDT
The NYS state liquor authority so far has not communicated anything to the public about the virus’ impact on licensees and applicants. When the agency does, I will share that important information on my website, www.liquorlicensenewyork.com – John Springer, NY Liquor License Specialist

Please follow www.liquorlicensenewyork.com for updates. Email john@nybarguy.com with specific questions. No calls please.

Leave your licensing hassles to us (it’s our pleasure)!

John Springer
John Springer addresses the SLA board.

Don’t believe the hype. It really isn’t that hard to get a liquor license in New York. The state wants to give you the license. They want you to employ people, provide a service and to pay taxes.

The purpose of the application is to make sure that a) your business qualifies b) the location qualifies and c) there is no significant opposition.

You don’t need a high-priced Manhattan lawyer or anyone who claims they “know people” at the agency. You don’t need to spend $10,000.

You simply need to know the rules and provide the information required in the right format at the right time. That’s where we come in.

We know the rules. We know the process. And we understand the complicated bureaucracy known as the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) and how to navigate it.

We’ve done it for more than 1,000 businesses during our 10 years in business – bars, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, liquor stores, breweries, wineries, distilleries, wholesalers and importers.

Call us today for a free telephone consultation. We’ll ask you a few questions and answer yours. And then we will send you a flat-fee price quote in writing. Cheers!

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John Springer
PORTJEFFERSON.com Inc.
dba My Liquor License Guy
PO Box 497
Port Jefferson, NY 11777
JOHN@NYBARGUY.COM
(631) 331-3334  (phone)
(631) 382-8190  (fax)

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John Springer is not an attorney and does not dispense legal advice or represent clients before any “court of record,” as defined in state law. The state does, however, permit qualified non-attorney representatives to assist clients before administrative agencies, including license applications and administrative adjudicatory hearings. If you are summoned to appear in a court of law or suspect you may be, you should consult a duly admitted attorney at law.