Getting a Liquor License in NYC for a Restaurant Requires Community Board Approval
Getting a liquor license in NYC for a restaurant requires working cooperatively with the relevant community board.
Each borough in New York City (Staten Island, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn) has several community boards that play important advisory roles in dealing with land use, zoning matters, the City budget, municipal service delivery, public safety, liquor licensing, and many other matters relating to their communities’ welfare.
In short, the various community boards get input on the various matters that they oversee, and their input matters. The State Liquor Authority relies on them for important information and gives them great deference when it comes to their recommendations.
In the liquor license application process for a restaurant, the first step is to give the appropriate community board 30-days’ notice of the intention to apply for a liquor license. The community board will then send the applicant its own application and will schedule a hearing for the applicant.
At the hearing, the community board will ask the applicant’s representative various questions about how the applicant intends to operate its establishment, including hours of operation, menu, any issues with the premises, its concerns, if any, and any other issues that are important to the individual members of the community board.
When it comes to getting a liquor license, making the mistake of not cooperating with the community board can cost a business its opportunity to qualify for a license. The individual members of each community board usually have substantial knowledge about the goings on in the neighborhoods that the particular community board oversees. So it is very important that, in the process of attempting to get a liquor license, one cooperates fully with the community board and works with them in their inquiries to determine whether they think your establishment should get a liquor license.
Being cooperative with the community board can also help an establishment with issues that might otherwise cause the State Liquor Authority to deny a license application to qualify for a license after all.
The State Liquor Authority has prepared a very useful “Community Board Q & A” that applicants for liquor licenses should be familiar with.
The Q & A can be found here.
You may also contact us if you have questions or need assistance with getting a liquor license in NYC.