New York's Liquor Licensing Experts - Call (212) 960-3305

  • Obtain Your License

    Obtain Your License

    Apply for and obtain your beer, wine and/or liquor license for your restaurant, bar, nightclub, or liquor store.

  • Review of Applications

    Review of Applications

    We are often consulted by other attorneys and liquor licensing consultants to review a proposed application or for general concerns and disputes.

  • Disciplinary & Violations

    Disciplinary & Violations

    Hire a liquor licensing attorney to represent you and your business before the State Liquor Authority.

  • Buy/Sell a Business

    Buy/Sell a Business

    If you are buying or selling a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or liquor store, we can handle the entire transaction and transfer the liquor license.

Recent Results

  • Sale of Nightclub

    Represented seller in the sale of one of the largest nightclubs in Manhattan for approximately $1 million after it was shut down by the New York Police Department and the New York City Law Department and had its liquor license canceled.

  • Liquor License Approved for Troubled Nightclub

    Successfully obtained approval for an on-premise liquor license for one of the largest nightclubs in Manhattan in the face of fierce community board opposition and despite the fact that the New York Police Department and the New York State Liquor Authority shut down the previous owner and canceled his liquor license due to a series of stabbings, slashes, and brawls.

  • Purchase of Stock Interest in Nightclub

    Represented client in the negotiation and purchase of a 25% interest in one of the most successful nightclubs in the Bronx.

  • Wine Wholesale License Approved by SLA & TTB to Import From Spain

    Represented and counseled client in successfully launching a wine wholesale importing business which would import wine from Spain before the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the New York State Liquor Authority.

  • Wine Store License Approved in Highly Competitive Chinatown

    Successfully represented and counseled client in launching a wine store and obtaining approval of his wine store license in the highly competitive Canal Street (Chinatown) area in Manhattan despite protests from neighboring wine and liquor stores.

  • Liquor Store License Approved in Crown Heights Brooklyn Despite Another Liquor Store Across Street

    Successfully represented and counseled client in opening a liquor store in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn and obtaining approval of her liquor store license despite the presence of another liquor store one block away. 

Clients said

  • My experience with Rodriguez Law, exceeded all my expectations. The fast and accurate turn-around time was impressive. I highly recommend anyone seeking a liquor license to give Mr. Rodriguez a call. Thank you so much and keep up the good work!

    Glennys Pena, Imperial Wines & Liquors
    Glennys Pena, Imperial Wines & Liquors
  • If you want to open a liquor store, please call Mr. Argilio Rodriguez. Everyone told me that getting my liquor store license was going to take 9 to 12 months, but I got it in 3 months without any problems. Mr. Rodriguez is the best.

    Edward Cespedes, Digital Liquor Store Corp.
    Edward Cespedes, Digital Liquor Store Corp.
  • When it comes to opening a liquor store and getting your liquor store license fast and easy, Rodriguez Law, P.C. is the law firm to call. Mr. Argilio Rodriguez got my liquor store license in less than 3 months without any problem. Mr. Rodriguez explained and executed all the processes to follow in the application procedure. I never expected to be approved in such a short time. Thank you, Argilio!

    Boanegi Santana, Carnaval Wine & Liquor Inc.
    Boanegi Santana, Carnaval Wine & Liquor Inc.

New York Liquor Licensing Blog

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What We Do

We represent restaurants, bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, alcohol wholesalers, grocery stores, supermarkets, and many other kinds of businesses throughout New York, and particularly New York City.

Our mission is to help you obtain or transfer your beer, wine, or liquor license as fast and as easy as possible.  If a license application has been denied, we can appeal the decision or reapply.

We can represent you in Proceedings to Cancel or Revoke your New York liquor license against the State Liquor Authority’s attorneys.  When the New York Police Department has filed suit against you under public nuisance laws, we are swift to act and mount a defense.

We handle many other applications and procedures within the State Liquor Authority including changes to corporate control, alterations to the premises, and endorsements.

The State Liquor Authority will reject any and all applications that are deemed incomplete. New York has a complicated Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. We have extensive experience working with the New York State Liquor Authority and we are confident that we can handle our clients’ issues.

Time is money and you want to open a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or liquor store, you need to work with someone who is experienced, who knows the ropes of Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, and who has a good rapport with the State Liquor Authority, to make sure the process flows efficiently and timely so you can get your doors open and start making money.

We have enough experience in this area to assure clients that there is no learning curve.  We have encountered every single New York liquor license  issue possible.

According to the State Liquor Authority’s Summer 2008 Newsletter, 80% of applications come back still missing vital information mandated by New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law in response to their routine notice of deficiency.  These delays often add anywhere from two to six months to the normal process of obtaining a liquor license in New York.  Many applications are rejected during the first inspection due the applicant’s unfamiliarity and lack of knowledge of New York’s complicated Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

Delays in obtaining your liquor license are extremely costly.  As the New York Times explained in an August 2009 article, “Liquor License Delays Add to Restaurants’ Pain,” alcohol sales generate anywhere from 40 to 50 percent for restaurants to 100% for bars and nightclubs, and owners are losing not only money but also potential customers who recoil from a “dry” establishment.  The story chronicled the plight of several restaurants and bars in obtaining a NYC liquor license and navigating the liquor authority’s stringent application process.  “Sometimes people sit down, order, realize they can’t get a beer, and leave,” stated one restaurant owner.  “We lose a lot of customers.”  Bars, nightclubs, and liquor stores can not even open their doors until their liquor license is approved and in hand which can take non-attorneys 6-12 months. There are additional issues involving the Department of Buildings which further complicate obtaining a liquor license in NYC.

The New York Liquor Licensing Backlog

In April 2009, after a year long corruption inquiry, the New York State inspector general raided the State Liquor Authority’s NYC office.  Investigators suspected that employees had taken bribes to expedite liquor licenses.  A small army of “expeditors” – often former State Liquor Authority employees – were found to offer help to get a liquor application through the red tape, for a fee.  “The Manhattan office of the State Liquor Authority was so riddled with ineptitude and corruption that it would have be restructured,” reported the Daily News.  “An eight month backlog made corruption easy.”

According to a New York State Law Revision Commission’s Report on the State Liquor Authority and Alcoholic Beverage Control law, the State Liquor Authority’s nine month backlog of liquor license applications as of October 2009 reflected a “failure in the licensing process, jeopardized public health and safety, and exacerbated the economic crisis currently plaguing New York.”  The Report stated that “small business owners…are forced to suffer ever-mounting expenses for months on end without the income generated from having these [liquor] licenses.” In the Report, the LRC called for major modifications to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws as well as changes to the State Liquor Authority is administered.

In March 2010, State Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen testified to a Senate committee that although the backlog in Upstate New York had been eliminated, about 1,700 applications remained to be processed in the New York City metropolitan area.  “These delays, which should be considered unacceptable during good times,  are simply intolerable, given the current economic climate,” stated Rosen.

How Difficult Is It To Get a Liquor License in New York?

In response to the backlog, Chairman Rosen imposed stricter guidelines on accepting applications.  Higher level employees within the SLA now perform a thorough review at intake to eliminate accepting applications that are incomplete or not approvable, as acceptance of such applications leads to wasted staff time and adds to the backlog. Applicants are no longer permitted to “piecemeal” information or documentation required by the State Liquor Authority, which has led to examiners starting and stopping and restarting the examination process.  The examining process is now strictly in compliance with statute.  If the required information is not provided in compliance with the applicable Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, the application will be disapproved for failure to comply.  The applicant will have the right to request a hearing on the disapproval, a process that takes months, or may reapply.  The State Liquor Authority currently spends months reviewing applications that are incomplete, which is unfair to applicants who have properly filled out the applications in compliance with the law.