The New York State Liquor Authority

The New York State Liquor Authority has acted the major regulator of dancing in venues offering alcohol using a scheme that Liquor Licenses and a venues Method of Operation must show whether the venue is offering patron dancing and collaborates with Community Boards to restrict dancing and live music. The SLA collaborates with Community Boards in its enforcement.

M.A.R.C.H. Abolished, Creates CURE, and moved from Mayor’s Office to the ONL Under the Department of Small Business Services

On December 28, 2023,  Mayor Adams moved the functions of M.A.R.C.H. to the newly moved Office of Nightlife in the Department of Small Business Services.  Jeffrey Garcia announced the launch of “Coordinating a United Resolution with Establishments” (CURE) – a new process for NYPD, SBS, and ONL to improve public safety responses to nightlife establishments… Continue reading M.A.R.C.H. Abolished, Creates CURE, and moved from Mayor’s Office to the ONL Under the Department of Small Business Services

Basic Documents and Citations

Gathered here a citations, references to basic documents, and explanations found in the letter summarizing the need for reform of SLA and Community Board processes concerning dancing and music.

SLA Circus Disco ABCL § 64[6-a]

In 1980, the Court of Appeals held that the SLA exceeded it authority when acting as a zoning authority. Circus Disco v. NYS LIQ AUTH, 51 N.Y.2d 24, 431 N.Y.S.2d 491, 409 N.E.2d 963 (1980). The Legislature apparently responded by adding § 64[6-a] There are, however, more fundamental reasons. Parking and traffic are essentially problems… Continue reading SLA Circus Disco ABCL § 64[6-a]

Bar Association Committee Describes SLA and Community Boards Pressuring License Applicants

In 2018, the Committee on  Hospitality Law of the New York City Bar Association submitted a letter to the Office of Nightlife describing ways in which the  SLA and Community Boards Impose Conditions on  License Applicants and predicting that the repeal of the Cabaret Law will result in the de facto continuation of a near prohibition of dancing within the City of New York.

State Liquor Authority – Method of Operations and License Database

The New York State Liquor Authority is the dominant regulator of music and dancing in New York City. Reform of the zoning law will not remove the SLA regulation. Over 1900 liquor licenses in New York City require licensed venues to prohibit dancing; over 9000 license do not allow live music.

Community Boards Ignore Chiasson Decisions Declaring Music Restrictions as Unconstituional

The New York City Community Boards in cooperation with the State Liquor Authority have ignored the decisions of Chiasson I and Chiasson II in in  1986 and 1988, implementing restrictions against live music declared as unconstitutional. Although the City amended its Zoning Resolution in 1990 reflecting the Chiasson decisions, the SLA and Community Boards have acted as a superseding zoning authority overriding the Zoning Resolution.

Community Board 1 Stipulations to be Added to the Liquor license

Some Community Boards, such as Community Board 1, may require Applicants to enter into a Stipulation which Applicant’s are required to sign, which refer to music, cover fees, and dancing and CB1 then requests that the SLA include the Stipulation in any Liquor License.