Learn How to Get a Liquor License for Your Restaurant or Bar

bartender tricks for mixing cocktails

“Opening a bar is about a little more than choosing the perfect beer and liquor list. In fact, there are a number of restaurant licenses and permits that you need to get out of the way before you can open your doors for business. In getting caught up in dreaming about all the delicious drinks that a new restaurant owner plans to offer, many forget about the extent of the legalities they have to navigate first, legalities that can throw a serious wrench in your grand opening plans if they aren’t executed correctly.

Although alcohol laws will vary from state to state, attempting to open a bar without a liquor license is going to lead down a road of penalties, fines, and shut doors—all of which every restaurateur wants to avoid at all costs (…).”

    1. “How much does it cost to get a liquor license? The cost of obtaining a liquor license can vary greatly depending on the state. Full liquor licenses can range from $12,000 to $400,000. Beer and wine liquor licenses can cost as low as $3,000. The actual cost you can expect to pay really depends. The best way to estimate it is by chatting with bars and restaurants in your local area that are similar in size and scope to yours.
    2. How old do you have to be to get a liquor license? Like all things related to alcohol in the United States, a person must be 21 years of age to work in a bar or obtain a liquor license (…).”

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Restaurants at New York’s Hudson Yards Have a Big Plan to Feed Office Workers

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“More details are emerging about the dining roster at the $25 billion Hudson Yards project, and as a food editor who also happens to be a native New Yorker, I can say that it’s time to get very excited. By mid-March the megaproject’s 25 restaurants and food concepts, from José Andrés’s Mercado Little Spain food hall to the fish temple Estiatorio Milos, should be open.

Hudson Yards anticipates more than 40,000 employees arriving to work daily—a new epicenter of Manhattan supporting companies from Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management to Tapestry, VaynerMedia, and Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs.

The question of feeding all those workers, as well as the thousands of residents and tourists who will be flowing through the 1-million-square-foot space, has obsessed Kevin Stuessi, vice president at Related Companies LP, the real estate company developing the project. He’s determined that most of the restaurants will have continuous service, starting at about 11:30 a.m., with late-night menus planned.

Following an exclusive hard hat tour in early September, Stuessi and Related Urban CEO Kenneth Himmel shared some of the most exciting details of the project’s signature concepts.”

Read more here.

Rare Wine Auctions Show No Signs of Slowing

While Burgundy continues to reign at rare wine auctions, top Bordeauxs like Pétrus are seeing higher prices.

“In the third quarter of 2018, global sales of fine and rare wine at auction totaled $70.4 million, up a whopping 31 percent over 2017’s third-quarter total of $53.7 million. U.S. sales totaled $36.1 million, up 19.1 percent. Hong Kong sales rose 49 percent, to $26.3 million, and London sales increased by 40 percent to $8 million. As in the previous two quarters, pristine single-owner cellars and winery-direct consignments generated much of the heated bidding.”

“Acker Merrall & Condit’s first September sale, held in New York, brought in $7.2 million against a presale high estimate of $7.3 million. It was 96 percent sold. “Burgundy didn’t take a vacation this summer,” quipped Acker Merrall and Condit CEO John Kapon, in a statement. All 25 of his sale’s top lots hailed from the French region.”

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New Bars and Restaurants Opening in NYC this Fall

“The summer is coming to a close, but a new slew of bars and restaurants are just starting to open. As the temperature starts to cool down, make your way to one of these new spots for great food, drinks, and atmosphere. Whether it is an expansion of an old favorite or a brand new take on the New York restaurant scene, here are 18 bars and restaurants to keep your eye on when they open their doors this fall.”

“Recreation is a new bar from nightlife hitmaker Jon Neidich, whose Happiest Hour and Tijuana Picnic are popular party spots in the city. It’s set to open in the upcoming Moxy NYC Downtown hotel, located at 26 Ann Street, in September.

As with Neidich’s Slowly Shirley, a 1940s-themed basement bar, Recreation has a very deliberate throwback concept. The 5,000-square-foot space is meant to look and feel like a 1980s house party, equipped with skee-ball and an arcade machine with classics like Ms. Pacman, Centipede, and Donkey Kong. There’s also Twister, with a twist: Instead of a mat, the colored dots for this truly nonsensical but enduring game are painted on the floor.”

View more openings here.

The Spritz: It’s All Built on Bubbles

Spritz culture is rooted in the cities and towns of Northern Italy.  The drink can be found at restaurants, cafes and even at the airport.

The Spritz is a wine-based cocktail commonly served as an aperitif (an alcoholic beverage served before the meal to stimulate appetite) in Northeast Italy. The drink is prepared with prosecco (Italian white) wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol, CampariCynar, or, especially in Venice, with Select. The glass is then topped off with sparkling mineral water. It is usually served over ice in a lowball glass and garnished with a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur.

Thanks to the recent publication of a light-hearted book named “Spritz”, these drinks have become popular and American bars will serve them this summer.

American bartenders have taken the liberty of creating their own spritz concoctions.

At the Llama Inn in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the bartender mixes gin, fino sherry, strawberry shrub, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters, Spanish sparkling wine and Perrier for the Señorita Spritz, a pretty pink concoction.

At Montana’s Trail House in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the owner piles Aperol, grapefruit juice and sparkling white wine atop a base of Mezcal with agave syrup.

Summertime is the perfect time for something light, refreshing and bubbly.  One bartender on the Lower East Side is quoted as saying, “Who doesn’t like something that feels like its dancing on your tongue?”

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Tara Paige Travels: Bacchanal, New Orleans

bacchanal-5.jpgAt Tara Paige, we love summer in the city – the patio dining, food festivals and street fairs (not to mention the reduced lines at some of our favorite spots). But we still need to hit the road occasionally, and check out the concepts that have people buzzing all over the country. Which brings us to this special travel edition of our retail spotlight, on Bacchanal – a unique concept off the beaten path in New Orleans, Louisiana. Located in Bywater (just over the canal from the Ninth Ward), Bacchanal highlights the vitality of a city where music comes from every street corner, and great food and wine require no excuses or white tablecloths to enjoy.

The heart of the concept is a simple but rarely imitated one; Bacchanal is a wine and cheese shop with a large backyard, where local musicians play sets from lunch till late night. Guests can browse the shop, chat with the knowledgeable staff about vintages and cheese pairings, and then grab their chosen bottle and an ice bucket and head for the back, where a selection of mismatched patio furniture offers about 100 first-come-first-serve seats for watching the band. Servers will put together a plate of your chosen cheese and charcuterie, and bring it out to the table while you sip and listen. For those feeling a bit more peckish, there’s also a full dinner menu, served out of a small window in the back of the wine store from a kitchen barely big enough for the two cooks working inside. The tables fill up early in the evening, but most are large enough to share between multiple groups of friends, inspiring conversation and new connections.

When they began, Bacchanal was primarily a little-known wine shop on the outskirts of the city. After hurricane Katrina devastated the area, they began hosting guest chef pop-ups with live music each Sunday – helping revitalize the city by bringing its residents together around great food and wine in a neighborhood setting. As their website and owners describe, the business model was not without its legal hurdles, since Bacchanal exists somewhere at the intersection of wine store, restaurant, speakeasy and block party, and was not always licensed to be all those things. We’re glad they took the risk though, and the concept remained intact after their day in court.

The food “is dedicated to the ingredients themselves and the wine that flows with them, it is focused Mediterranean minimalism.” This is somewhat in contrast with the big Cajun flavors to be found in the heart of the French Quarter, for which tourists rightfully travel from thousands of miles. There’s no gumbo on the menu, but there is a fantastic ceviche and a delicate, garlicky bucatini. Many items are seasonal, and local produce is prominantly featured. No matter what guests ultimately order, the Bacchanal experience still captures the spirit of New Orleans: an unpretentious commitment to living life to the fullest, come rain or shine.

Bacchanal is located at 600 Poland Avenue, New Orleans LA, 70117. Visit their website at http://www.bacchanalwine.com.

Brooklyn Winery Team Opens New Crown Heights Restaurant

brooklyn-made-wines-01.w600.h400.jpgCrown Heights now has another new restaurant to add to its list – this time, it comes from the team behind Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Winery. Owners Brian Leventhal and John Stires will open the doors to BKW on Tuesday at 747 Franklin Avenue. They’ve brought on chef Michael Gordon, formerly of Bouley, to design the pared-down menu. Some highlights include konbu-cured mackerel with whipped feta and roasted grapes, root beer glazed pork ribs, and homemade donuts with butterscotch and lavender. The wine list will of course be well curated, with flights offered for those who are feeling indecisive and full bottles available to take home.

To read more, click here.