New York State Considers A Bill to Permit In-Theater Alcohol Service

New bills currently under committee review in both houses of the New York State legislature would permit the in-theater consumption of alcoholic beverages in New York State cinemas.

Although theaters can currently serve alcohol in licensed lobby areas, and under recent legislation  in the theatre itself  provided full meals are offered and the theatre fits within the definition of a “restaurant,” the proposed legislation would take it a step further.

The proposed bills (Assembly Bill A07188 and Senate Bill S05784) would amend the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law to allow theaters to serve alcohol if the following requirements are met: each patron would need to provide evidence that he or she is 21 or older, and is a ticketholder for a motion picture rated PG-13, R or NC-17.  Additional restrictions in the drafted text intend to limit the hours of operation – permitting theaters to begin serving alcohol one hour prior to the start of the first motion picture and cease all sales after the final picture of the day – and to limit patron service to just a single beverage per transaction.

If passed as proposed, the legislation should not disturb the on-premises liquor licenses held by table-service theaters, or prevent theaters from continuing to obtain on-premises licenses for lobby areas where movies are not shown.

Stephen Starr Wins Restaurateur of the Year

Stephen Starr, the well-known Philadelphia and New York restauranteur and Bernstein Redo client, was awarded the prestigious  James Beard Restauranteur of the Year Award.  Among his thirty-two restaurants in four states, Starr owns Buddakan, Morimoto, Upland,  El Vez, and the newly opened Le Coucou in New York, run by chef Daniel Rose, which won the James Beard Best New Restaurant in the country.   Congratulations!  Bernstein Redo is proud to be a part of the Starr team.

New Bill Introduced to Establish Office of Nightlife and Night Mayor

A new bill introduced in the New York City Council (Int. No. 1648) aims to establish an Office of Nightlife complete with a “Nightlife Task Force” and, as the bill’s sponsor has termed it, a “Night Mayor.”  If passed, the proposed Local Law would amend the New York City Administrative Code to mandate the creation of a task force to study New York City Laws, rules, and regulations and issue recommendations to address “common issues and trends in the nightlife industry.”  As written, the proposed task force would be a temporary group consisting of nine members with a singular purpose of drafting a report on how to improve policies and laws that impact nightlife in New York City.  The task force will be required to submit its report and recommendations to the Mayor and Speaker of the Council within one year of the Council’s enactment of the Local Law.

According to reports from a recent hearing at City Hall, Council Member Rafael Espinal, Jr., one of the sponsors of the new Office of Nightlife bill, has indicated his intention to introduce additional legislation to repeal or rework the Cabaret Law.  The Cabaret Law, a section of the New York City Administrative Code enacted in the 1920s, currently prohibits operating any “room, place or space… in which any musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other form of amusement is permitted” without a cabaret license issued by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

Bernstein Redo, P.C. will continue to follow the proposed bill and, if passed by the New York City Council, will be ready to advise our hospitality clients.

& Pizza Opens its First New York Outpost

 

When Donald Bernstein was in Washington, D.C. in November 2015, he happened upon &Pizza, an award winning fast casual 21 store pizza chain, with a mission of “Make it personal,” “Elevate everything,” “Keep it fresh,” and “Celebrate oneness.” His first thought, after yummy pizza, was that this would be a great place in New York. We were thrilled when &Pizza called Bernstein Redo, P.C. to ask us to help them open their first New York restaurant. & Pizza at 15 West 28th Street in Manhattan is opening in June. And there will be more stores to come. We are proud to be part of the & Pizza team.