In the News: Restaurants struggle with booze costs

The Post reports that citywide, restaurants and bars, all now in the hole after three months of quarantine, are being backed into a corner by the State Liquor Authority, which requires that they pay for their stock up front, with cash. By example, Terroir Tribeca owner Paul Grieco told The Post that he bought $30,000 worth of wines that are now out of season, and has no funds on hand to stock up on what everyone seems to want to drink: rosé. “Grieco said he has ‘a few shekels in the bank’ to buy about $1,000 worth of rosé before he reopens Wednesday. But with the costs of reopening and roughly $200,000 in outstanding bills, he estimates he won’t be able to pay off his old booze bills for six to eight more weeks.”

How is it that the SLA does not serve the public OR the restaurants? As a community board member, it always seemed to me next to impossible to keep unneighborly establishments in check — the SLA was too business friendly. And now here is that same agency failing to serve the industry they have a mission to encourage and support. (Though they will say they already relaxed rules by letting places sell booze to go.) Here is one of its three core functions, taken right off their site:

“To the extent possible, the SLA supports economic growth, job development and the state’s alcoholic beverage production industries and its tourism and recreation industry.”

With the mayor now permitting drinking on the streets with a wave of the hand, this seems like an easy fix for the state.


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