- After the arrest of an East Hampton gallery owner who failed to obtain a special permit from the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) which authorizes the service of beer or wine, some local municipalities are notifying area businesses of the SLA requirements in an effort to ensure compliance with the law.
Both Southampton Village
and Sag Harbor Village are informing businesses about the need to obtain a Temporary Beer and Wine Permit (TPA) from the SLA for events where alcohol (wine, beer or champagne) will be served. The public information campaign comes after the dust-up in East Hampton Village over Memorial Day Weekend, when gallery owner Ruth Vered
was arrested on May 24 after refusing to stop serving alcohol at a show opening at her eponymous gallery.
In Sag Harbor, an "informational reminder" detailing the TPA requirements, prepared by village Police Chief Thomas Fabiano, will be distributed to the Chamber of Commerce and published in The Sag Harbor Express. "It's sitting on my desk," said Wendy Parent, deputy village clerk in Sag Harbor. The release informs retail establishments of the ruling which states the commercial businesses "intending to sell or make available to patrons or invited guests alcoholic beverages must apply and receive a permit from the New York State Liquor Authority."
Officials from Southampton, Sag Harbor, and East Hampton all sent out information about
permits for serving alcohol at events at retail establishments.
The Village of Southampton is distributing a letter to local merchants with a copy of the New York State Special Events application. The cover letter from Mayor Mark Epley
states, "if you are having a special event at your store or gallery, you will need to be in compliance with the NYSLA," and urges anyone in need of assistance to call his office.
Mayor Epley and Southampton Village Police Chief William Wilson made the decision to send out the information after the incident in East Hampton. "We realized a lot of people were completely unaware of the application process," Epley explained.
A business that does not hold a liquor license must obtain a TPA from the state liquor authority for any event where beer or wine will be served, unless a licensed caterer is providing the alcohol. Costing $36 and good for 24 hours, the application must be received 15 days prior to the scheduled event. According to a press release, the SLA streamlined the application in April, in an effort to make the review process more efficient. If an application is deemed deficient, it is immediately returned unapproved.
In East Hampton, the Chamber of Commerce has e-mailed all its members to notify them of the requirement and placed notices in local newspapers. "We're not going to go door to door," said Marina Van of the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce, adding, "We don't have to do very much, because the whole world is calling us." The East Hampton Village Police are also conducting a publicity campaign, informing local businesses about the SLA law.
To date, officials in the Village of Westhampton Beach do not plan to inform businesses of the need for a TPA for events where beer and wine will be served. "I'm not aware of us mailing anything out, or that being any kind of an issue," said Kathleen McGinnis, the village clerk. Maggie Vurback of The Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce said the chamber does not provide information to local businesses about the SLA requirements, and has no plans to do so.
"It's not really been an issue here," said Paul Houlihan, the building and zoning administrator for the western village, adding he refers businesses with questions about beer and wine permits to the SLA.