Will your New Year's Eve party get busted?
Restaurants offering all-you-can-drink packages? That's a no-no, says the Liquor Control Board.
My in-box is filling with New Year's Eve restaurant promotions that include open bars.
At the risk of being a killjoy, I will relay the word on that practice, from the state Liquor Control Board:
It's not allowed.
A representative of the LCB says that a licensee can have an open bar only if it were part of a catered event, arranged 24 hours in advance. However, the rep says, a licensee can not self-cater his own party. Some of the promotions appear to be offered by the licensee, not a third party. (What makes an event "catered" is that it is arranged between the licensee and a third party, and the third party invites the guests.)
I'll also note that the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement works on holidays.
Following, the Title 40 regs that prohibit such all-you-can-drink-aloozas:
§ 13.102. Discount pricing practices.
(a) General. Retail licensees may discount the price of alcoholic beverages for a consecutive period of time not to exceed 2 hours in a business day, but may not engage in discount pricing practices between 12 midnight and the legal closing hour. Retail licensees may not engage in the following discount pricing practices unless specifically excepted in subsection (b):
(1) The sale or serving, or both, of more than one drink of liquor, wine, or malt or brewed beverages at any one time to any one person, for the price of one drink.
(2) The sale or serving, or both, of an increased volume of one drink of liquor, wine, or malt or brewed beverages without a corresponding and proportionate increase in the price for the drink.
(3) The sale or serving, or both, of an unlimited or indefinite amount of liquor, wine, or malt or brewed beverages for a set price.
(4) The pricing of alcoholic beverages in a manner which permits the price to change within the 2-hour period.
(b) Exceptions. Nothing in subsection (a) prohibits:
(1) The sale or serving, or both, of an unlimited or indefinite amount of liquor, wine or malt or brewed beverages for a fixed price for catered events which have been arranged at least 24 hours in advance.
(2) The offering for sale of one specific type of alcoholic beverage or drink per day or a portion thereof at a reduced price, if the offering does not violate subsection (a). For purposes of this section, a specific type of alcoholic beverage means either a specific registered brand of malt or brewed beverages, a type of wine, a type of distilled spirits or a mixed drink. Examples of permissible drink discounts are found in Board Advisory Notice 16.