For many, bottomless drinks are the cornerstone of any delicious (if not nutritious) urban brunch. But the New York State Liquor Authority is determined to kill boozy brunchers’ buzz.
Yes, the state of the soda ban is cracking down on more than calorie consumption. The NYC Hospitality Alliance sent out an alert Monday to its member restaurants reminding them of a prohibition against “selling, serving, delivering or offering to patrons an unlimited number of drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price.”
Is the State Liquor Authority seriously enforcing this prohibition? Unfortunately, the answer is “yes.” The New York Post reports that Heath St. Clair, who owns an Australian burger joint in the East Village called The Sunburnt Cow, said he used to offer unlimited mimosas and Fosters beer over a 90 minute span– before his business was investigated by the SLA. Following this investigation by the fun police, he now says, “We do not offer an unlimited brunch.”
As anyone who has ever consumed multiple mimosas at brunch knows, unlimited drinks are never actually unlimited. One can only handle so many of them, and restaurant owners are well aware of this. “We only serve a person maybe four or five drinks,” St. Clair told the Post. “People get buzzed, they get happy, and they feel like they didn’t pay for it. We’d go broke if we actually gave people unlimited drinks.”
Is this really necessary? New York already prohibits disorderly conduct and drunk driving. So long as there is a designated driver present, what’s the harm in offering incentives to customers to come in and have a good time? What’s next? Banning happy hours and Ladies’ Night?
It was only a matter of time before today’s “progressives” followed their prohibitionist predecessors and set their sights on spirits. We can take comfort, perhaps, that laws that are so at odds with the common sense of the community do not often last long. But it would be even better if the authorities immediately lifted the burden of this uncommonly silly regulation by getting rid of it.