After receiving multiple inquires from members about the legality of restaurants offering "bottomless brunches and unlimited drink specials" the New York City Hospitality Alliance issued a member alert citing the NYS Liquor Authority's law (SLA) on this issue. A media frenzy ensued and many restaurateurs and the "bottomless brunch" loving public were frustrated to learn about the details of the law, that was unknown to so many people.
The great news is that all of the media attention created by The Alliance's alert on TV, in newspapers and blogs caused the SLA to issue the following statement on February 26, 2014 indicating and clarifying that not all alcohol related brunch specials are unlawful:
“Serving unlimited drinks to a patron is prohibited under the Alcoholic Beverage Control law, and instances of over serving by our licensees will be investigated and prosecuted. However, there is a limited exception in the statute when the service of alcohol is incidental to the event, such as in the case of certain brunch specials. Even under these limited exceptions, licensees still have a legal obligation not to over serve patrons. The SLA will continue to take a balanced regulatory approach by allowing licensees to conduct specials where alcohol is an accompaniment, while simultaneously cracking down on specials that promote excessive drinking.” -NYS Liquor Authority
The New York City Hospitality Alliance commends the SLA for issuing this statement and clarity. As always, The Alliance encourages our members to serve alcohol responsibly and seek guidance from the SLA or a professional if they have any questions.