Government Affairs

SLA’s 200 Foot Rule

The Alcohol Beverage Control Law (ABC). Section 64(d)(8) prohibits restaurants with full liquor licenses, bars, clubs and lounges from operating within 200 feet of a school, church or other place of worship on the same street.

The 200 foot rule is an outdated, Prohibition era relic of New York’s liquor laws that has not kept pace with the times and is significantly restricting economic development, consumer choice and job creation in certain New York State and New York City neighborhoods.  While this law was created during the Prohibition era to essentially shield church goers and children from the perceived evils of being anywhere near the consumption of alcohol, one of its clear impacts today is to prevent high quality, healthy, full service restaurants from opening – and creating jobs – in densely developed neighborhoods (many of which are desperate for healthy, high quality options other than fast food).  For example, in communities such as Harlem (which has a high concentration of churches, mosques, storefront churches, schools, and other similar institutions), local entrepreneurs seeking to open a full service, neighborhood restaurant with high quality food and drinks are finding it extremely challenging to secure appropriate legal locations.  

We seek to have the law amended so businesses that contribute to a neighbirhood can obtain a license within 200 feet of such establishments.

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