Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I came across this op-ed piece in the Asbury Park Press about the NJ state liquor license policy and it left me scratching my head. The gist of the it is that NJ does not make a beer/wine only license available for restaurants, making it much harder for joints unable to secure a liquor license to stay in business. Basically you're either a BYOB establishment or you have a full liquor license.

And anyone who's done any research on opening a bar or restaurant will know that you don't just apply for a liquor license, wait for the state to process some paperwork, and you're in business. Liquor licenses are controlled by municipalities and the number available is fixed based on the population of that municipality. According to the state's ABC handbook, it's one liquor license per 3,000 residents (with exceptions, of course). And I think you'd be hard pressed to find a municipality that has available licenses. 99.9% of the time a license is transfered when someone sells an existing business.

The head scratching on this author's part comes from having dined in NJ establishments where there's a limited selection of beer or wine only available for sale. I know that I've been in places where you can buy beer or wine or bring your own. I don't want to name names because I don't want to get anyone in trouble if they're bending any rules. But with no liquor license, how is an NJ restaurant selling beer or wine?

One thing I can say for sure is that if there were a beer/wine only license available, it would definitely make the opening of a certain someone's fantasy idea brewpub much more feasible. Just throwing it out there, Trenton.

No comments: