State Liquor Authority Update

By Pesetsky & Bookman

The Alliance's general and legislative counsel, Pesetsky & Bookman, would like to share two important updates with members of The Alliance about the New York State Liquor Authority.

As most of us know, the State Liquor Authority's liquor licensing process is an integral part of opening and maintaining a hospitality business in New York City.  Having your liquor license in place by the time a new business opens is critical, and once you are open, your liquor license is used as a hook for regulating all aspects of your business beyond just alcohol. That's why we keep track of what's going on at SLA, and from time to time, we share news with you when we think it's important.  There are two developments to report on.

1. First, SLA announced at its last board meeting that there has been a slowdown in the processing of new liquor license applications. According to SLA, the agency usually receives about 100 new applications per week, but in the last few weeks that number has increased to about 160 per week.  At the same time, SLA's licensing division has lost a number of staff members. The SLA board therefore advises the industry that applications are not being approved at the same speed as is usual. If you are in the process of opening a new hospitality business, please take this delayed timeframe into account.

2. Second, Governor Cuomo has appointed former Manhattan CB4 member Lilly M. Fan as a new member of the SLA board, bringing the number of members to three. You can read her biography here.  Big decisions at SLA, such as whether to approve controversial new applications, are decided by the SLA board. Ms. Fan will be the first New York City resident on the SLA board in years. As a Community Board member, Ms. Fan developed a reputation of evenhandedness when balancing community concerns against business needs.  It remains to be seen what type of impact Ms. Fan's appointment will have on the NYC hospitality industry. The NYC Hospitality Alliance looks forward to working with Ms. Fan.

Should you have any questions, please contact

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