Get A Beer and Wine License in NYC and NY State (aka Restaurant Wine License)

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In the state of New York, and especially NYC, the hospitality industry thrives, with countless restaurants, bars, and retail stores catering to a diverse clientele. One of the critical aspects of operating such businesses is obtaining the appropriate liquor license. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of the “Beer and Wine License NYC” and New York State, highlighting who it applies to, its benefits, and the differences between obtaining this license in NYC versus the rest of the state.

Who Does the Beer and Wine License Apply To?

This license, officially known as the “Restaurant Wine (RW)” license, is designed for establishments where the primary source of income is the sale of food. This includes restaurants, cafes, and eateries that wish to enhance their customers’ dining experience by offering beer and wine. It’s important to note that this license does not permit the sale of spirits or other types of hard liquor.

Beer And Wine License NYC

Benefits of this License

Enhanced Customer Experience:

Offering beer and wine can significantly enhance the dining experience, attracting a broader customer base and encouraging repeat business.

Increased Revenue:

The addition of beer and wine to your menu can significantly boost your revenue. Alcoholic beverages typically have a high-profit margin, contributing to your establishment’s overall profitability.

Competitive Edge:

In the competitive NYC hospitality industry, having this license can give your establishment an edge over competitors who only offer non-alcoholic beverages.


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The Restaurant Business In NY State – 2023 Update

The restaurant industry in both New York City and New York State has been on a steady path to recovery following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With economic activity picking up in an increasingly vaccinated city and some tourists returning, the restaurant and hospitality industry — the sector most devastated by the pandemic recession — is finally showing signs of a sustained recovery1. A new report released by the New York State Comptroller’s Office shows that restaurants across the five boroughs still employ 30% fewer people than they did right before the pandemic2. However, the industry is gradually regaining its footing.

In the midst of this recovery, the role of alcoholic beverages, particularly beer and wine, cannot be overlooked. For many restaurants, the sale of alcoholic beverages significantly contributes to their revenue. In fact, during the pandemic, New York State allowed restaurants and bars in the city to sell wine or liquor for takeout and delivery for the first time3. This move provided a much-needed lifeline for many establishments during the lockdowns.

The benefits of holding this license in NYC are numerous. For starters, it allows restaurants to diversify their offerings and cater to a wider range of customer preferences. It also provides an additional revenue stream, which can be particularly beneficial in times of reduced customer footfall. Moreover, offering a selection of beers and wines can enhance the dining experience, encouraging customers to spend more time (and money) at the establishment.

However, it’s important to note that the regulations and benefits of such a license can vary between New York City and New York State. While the overall process of obtaining a license is governed by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA), local regulations and community board opinions can also influence the licensing process, especially in NYC4. Therefore, it’s crucial for prospective licensees to understand the specific requirements and implications of holding a beer and wine license in their particular location.

As the restaurant industry in New York continues to recover and adapt to the post-pandemic world, the importance of alcoholic beverages, particularly beer and wine, is likely to remain significant. Whether it’s enhancing the dining experience, providing an additional revenue stream, or attracting a wider customer base, this license can offer numerous benefits for restaurants in both New York City and New York State.

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Differences Between NYC and NY State

While the basic premise of the Beer and Wine License remains the same across New York State, there are some differences in the application process and regulations between NYC and the rest of the state.

Application Process:

In NYC, applicants must notify their local community board of their intent to apply for a liquor license at least 30 days before submitting the application to the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA). This allows the community board to review the application and provide recommendations or voice concerns. This step is not required in other parts of New York State.


NYC has stricter regulations due to its dense population and diverse neighborhoods. For instance, the SLA may consider the character of the neighborhood, the number of existing licensed establishments, and the potential for noise or traffic issues when reviewing an application in NYC. While these factors are also considered in other parts of the state, they are often scrutinized more closely in NYC.


The cost of obtaining this license can also vary. In NYC, the high demand and competitive nature of the market can sometimes lead to higher application fees.

The Magic of Temporary Alcohol Permits in New York: A Lifeline for Businesses and Event Planners

Picture this: You’ve just secured the perfect venue for your grand opening, a charity event, or perhaps a one-day pop-up bar. Everything is set, but there’s one hiccup—you don’t have a liquor license yet. In the bustling city of New York, where the nightlife is as vibrant as its skyline, serving alcohol can be the lifeblood of any event. But what do you do when time is of the essence, and the traditional licensing process seems like an eternity? Enter the magic of temporary alcohol permits.

The 30-Day Miracle

In New York, the process of obtaining a full-fledged liquor license is not an instant process. But thanks to the New York State Liquor Authority, there’s a quicker path: the temporary alcohol serving permit. This permit can be processed in approximately 30 days and is valid for 90 days. It’s like a golden ticket for businesses and event planners who need to operate in a New York minute.

Who Can Apply?

Temporary permits are available for a variety of establishments, including on-premises venues like bars and restaurants, as well as grocery stores. So whether you’re planning a swanky rooftop soirée or a community fair, there’s a permit tailored for you.

The Email Revolution

In a move that further streamlines the process, recent amendments to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law now allow applicants to provide the required 30-day advanced notice to their municipality or community board via email. This is a game-changer in expediting communication and cutting down bureaucratic red tape.

The Catch

While the temporary permit sounds like a dream come true, it’s not a free-for-all. The permit is subject to approval, and any deficiencies in your application can result in delays or even disapproval. So dot your i’s and cross your t’s!

Why This Matters

In a city that never sleeps, the ability to quickly secure a permit to serve alcohol can be the difference between a forgettable event and an unforgettable experience. It can also be a lifeline for new businesses looking to make a splash in the competitive New York market.


Obtaining a Beer and Wine License in NYC can be a game-changer for businesses in the food industry. It opens up new avenues for revenue, enhances the customer experience, and provides a competitive edge in the bustling NYC hospitality scene. However, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of the licensing process and the differences between obtaining this license in NYC versus the rest of New York State. With careful planning and a thorough understanding of the regulations, your establishment can successfully navigate the licensing process and reap the benefits of offering beer and wine to your customers.


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