New law helps NYC bars and restaurants get liquor licenses faster

The newly passed law removes a "two-year lookback" rule. Previously, new businesses had to wait up to 10 months for a temporary liquor permit if the location hadn't had an active liquor license in the past two years.

Edric Robinson

Jun 20, 2024, 10:17 PM

Updated 24 days ago

Share:

The New York state Legislature passed a bill that will help new bars and restaurants get their liquor licenses faster.
“It passed, let’s go!” exclaimed Matthew Fermin, owner of Santiago’s Beer Garden in East Harlem.
This news is game-changing for Fermin, who not only owns Santiago's Beer Garden but is also preparing to open two more bars soon.
"I was expecting to wait eight, nine, even 10 months to get the license. Now I have to rush the guys to finish. We’re on a time crunch with only five months," Fermin explained.
The newly passed law removes a "two-year lookback" rule. Previously, new businesses had to wait up to 10 months for a temporary liquor permit if the location hadn't had an active liquor license in the past two years. This wait cost businesses a lot of money.
"It costs so much to open a restaurant. You have to pay rent, deposits for the liquor license, and start paying employees and contractors before you even open," Fermin added.
The city’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) pushed for the bill's passing to help alleviate the financial burden caused by this red tape.
"SBS worked very hard behind the scenes, talking to elected officials about how important this is for the future of our city. This rule only affected New York City. Anywhere else in the state, you could get your temporary permit without that two-year lookback," said Jeffrey Garcia, executive director of the NYC Office of Nightlife.
The department says this new change will help fill empty storefronts and keep the city's small businesses thriving. As Fermin explains, for bars and restaurants, liquor sales are the money-maker.
"People might have one plate of food for $20, but they can have five drinks. If each drink costs $13, you make much more from alcohol than food," said Fermin.
"It’s good to do business in NYC. NYC is open for business. We want people to come here, feel good about opening a business, and know that we’re going to do everything to help them at SBS," Garcia added.
With these new changes, the Department of SBS says NYC is set to continue creating more jobs and opportunities for everyone.


More from News 12