Bottomless brunch is actually legal in New York, for the most part
Thirsty New Yorkers can rest — and drink — easy this weekend, because bottomless brunches are actually legal in the state, for the most part.
The regulation prohibiting unlimited drink offerings in New York, known as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law or “ABC Law,” doesn’t apply to bottomless brunch specials, which are considered “events,” according to the New York State Liquor Authority.
In a statement, the SLA said that serving unlimited drinks to patrons is prohibited by the law and that over serving will be investigated and prosecuted.
“However, there is a limited exception in the statute when the service of alcohol is incidental to the event, such as in the case of certain brunch specials,” the SLA statement said.
The law, which prohibits the “selling, serving, delivering or offering to patrons an unlimited number of drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price,” sparked terror in the hearts of drunch lovers when the NYC Hospitality Alliance released a reminder of the rule earlier this week.
According to the SLA, the law allows two-for-one specials, along with discounts that aren’t greater than half off the original price.
And while “bottomless brunch” specials are legal as well — when they are considered “events” at least — the SLA said that bars and restaurants with liquor licenses have a legal obligation not to over-serve patrons.
“The SLA will continue to take a balanced regulatory approach by allowing licensees to conduct specials where alcohol is an accompaniment, while simultaneously cracking down on specials that promote excessive drinking,” the authority said in a statement.
Still, the city’s bars and restaurants should be wary. If punished, a violation for excessive drinking can cost up to $10,000.
Additional reporting by Robert Criscola. Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders