Last month, East Village resident Robert Halpern sued the State Liquor Authority (SLA) over a loophole in the 1999 law that allows bottomless brunches (drunk brunch, drunch, etc).
As the Post reports, the SLA has responded to the the Manhattan Supreme Court suit. They don't think much of it, and asked the court to dismiss.
“Halpern’s motivation behind alleging these complaints is his self-interest against increased noise and crowds in his community,” the SLA says in court papers.
“Halpern substitutes his own personal judgement for that of the Authority. … Halpern’s remedy, simply put, cannot be found within the walls of this Courthouse.”
Here's how The Real Deal first reported on the lawsuit last month:
“There are too may people running around drinking all the time,” Halpern told The Real Deal. “It’s become more and more of a drinking culture here.”
Halpern’s argument is that bottomless brunches are prohibited by a provision against selling unlimited alcohol for a set time and a set price. The Liquor Authority’s legal counsel has previously taken the position that “brunch specials” are considered special events and exempted from the provision. The suit makes the case that weekly bottomless brunches should not be exempt.
I asked Halpern, a lawyer and longtime resident of the East Village, what the next steps are with the suit.
"Next step in this case is for me to reply to motion to dismiss, and the papers get submitted on Dec. 6," he said in an email. "A motion to dismiss is a commonplace tactic. I don't think there's much merit to the motion, especially considering I am not asking for money, but for a ruling that the Liquor Authority is wrong.
"A judge could rule that the bottomless brunches are illegal under the statute, and the Authority could still decide not to to anything about them, though they are obligated to investigate complaints," Halpern said.