Extensions of Premises
At establishments with an on-premises license, the sale and consumption of alcohol must be confined to the area that has been licensed by the Authority. The licensee needs to be aware of whether outside areas such as patios, backyards, balconies, decks, etc., were disclosed and approved when the license was issued. This is especially important for a new owner who purchases a business by stock transfer and is inheriting the existing liquor license. After years of operation, memory fades as to details of the original application. Also, the application itself has changed drastically over the years.
I recommend my client’s file a FOIL request to view the application details currently on file because they are legally responsible to adhere to the approved method of operation. If changes need to be made, an alteration application can be filed.
Disciplinary action may be taken against a licensee who allows drinks to be consumed in unlicensed areas. Fines generally are $1,500-$4,000 depending on the licensee’s other violations or adverse history. Licensees can file an alteration application with the authority to add unlicensed area to the licensed premises. There is no fee for the alteration application itself but you may incur a fee if you are adding an entirely new bar to the licensed premises. In addition to completing the application, the licensee will need “before” and “after” drawings and photos, documentation of the finances used for the proposed changes and a building permit where applicable. In some cases, additional documents and applications are required (ex. an “add” bar application). Compliance is not difficult as long as you keep your license file up to date.
Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years, representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.
Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.
Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.
She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.
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