(Update) Buzzkill! Bottomless brunches are actually illegal
Update (Feb. 27): Turns out, bottomless brunch specials are considered “events” by the New York State Liquor Authority. Read more here.
Metro’s original story is below:
Bottomless brunch, a popular dining deal where restaurants offer unlimited alcohol with brunch entrees, may soon be a thing of the past in NYC.
In a press release on Monday, the New York City Hospitality Alliance reminded restaurant owners that a New York State law prohibits “selling, serving, delivering or offering to patrons an unlimited number of drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price.”
According to the New York State Liquor Authority, the only deals that are legal are two-for-one specials and discounts not greater than half off the original price.
While the SLA has yet to bust a restaurant that offers a bottomless brunch, it may only be a matter of time, now that the little-known law has come to light.
Ken Fisherman, owner of The Guilty Goose in Chelsea, says he plans to continue offering his bottomless brunch.
“I don’t know anything about this law,” said Fisherman, “I only heard about the law this morning.”
Fisherman continued, “I’ve been running this promotion for four years now with no problem … I’ve never heard anything from the SLA before.”
Fisherman also noted it would be nearly impossible for the SLA to enforce this law. “The burden of proof would make it difficult to enforce. You have to calculate how much the drinks are being offered for, the way the law is worded.”
Fisherman implied that the pressure to end bottomless brunch specials isn’t on the restaurant owners, but rather on the SLA. “The SLA doesn’t want this press right now,” he said. ”What are they going to say? ‘We’re going to enforce this law?’ OK, how? Will they say that they won’t enforce the law? Can’t say that! The SLA has mud on their face right now.”