Batali-Bastianich Restaurant Group In serious Trouble

Does anyone know the details as to how they violated the law? Any previous history on this type of violation? It seems like it could close them.

Seems political. They have restaurants out of NY too, so this won’t affect those. And I don’t think the fine is going to be crippling for them. More a nuisance than anything else.

I assumed it would only impact the NY operations. It seems like each place will have $500,000 fine and six month suspension of license.

The 6-month suspensions would be devastating, even to them. Joe and his family are very savvy people. Hard to imagine what is really going on here.

It appears to have something to do with NY regulations regarding the relationship among importing/distributing/retailing.

Considering the trouble they’ve been in previously, this is not that surprising.

Not knowing further of the story, you think these guys would be on their p’s and q’s with the last legal issue they had. To me this seems like somebody is going after them.

Reading Dr.Vino, it looks like Lidia is the casualty, as the boys will declare they know nothing about the operation. I doubt they get their license revoked for 6 months and the fine will probably be $250k per shop, if anything at all.

A little more info:

From what I saw, it looks like it’s the shop at Eataly that’s in hot water. Probably due to their ownership/interest in the winery in Italy, I know the SLA doesn’t like that. More than likely there’ll be a fine and perhaps the store will close for a while. The restaurants won’t be affected.

I’m working on the assumption that this is yet another case of the SLA working against my interests as a consumer and protecting the 3 schnooks, but maybe I’m wrong. Is there a case to be made that it is against the public interest for someone with a stake in a foreign winery to also have a license to sell wine in NYS?

The requirement for disclosure I can understand, and if lack of disclosure is what they’re getting slapped for, that’s reasonable. However, the Eater article cites a previous case where the SLA denied a license based on the individual having a foreign interest. I don’t see any particularly good reason for that restriction.

I thought the other partner in Eataly also owns a few wineries.

You do have to wonder if they(SLA)are working to protect the interest of the importer/dist groups.

Of course they are Gary. You’re in the business. When do the regulators ever work for anyone besides their masters ?

The SLA doesn’t seem to show any mercy. In the depths of the recession in 2009, they were strictly enforcing rules requiring distributors to require COD if a retailer hadn’t paid within the statutory 30-day limit. As you can imagine, some distributors were eager to cut their customers some slack and overlook late payments, but our friendly state watchdogs refused to look the other way.

They also busted Whole Foods when it opened a wine store in the Time Warner Center. The store had a door onto the check-out lines, which evidently didn’t comply with the requirement that a liquor store have a separate street entrance. WF may have pushed the limits here, but it was several years before they reopened a wine shop (on Columbus near 98th), so I assume that they weren’t allowed to get a new license for a while.

The morning after the 1994 Northridge earthquake we got a fax from the California ABC reminding us that our suppliers were forbidden by law from rendering us any assistance of any kind or replacing broken merchandise.

Such thoughtful folks those…

When I worked for Morrell and Co, 30 years ago, they were strictly forbidden from selling any wine accessories, such as cork-screws. They had to wall off a little corner of the store and build a separate entrance to make it legal. Crazy.

Funny I was working at a liquor store while I was going to university during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the Bud, Miller and Coors reps came in and re-packaged any damaged product but didn’t re-place any. I wonder if after this quake they decided to crack down? I also wonder why they just didn’t lean on the distributers to obey their rules, they would have missed 1000’s stores at that time that didn’t have fax machines?

Oscar Farinetti owns Borgogno.

also Fontanafredda no ?

I guess he doesn’t hold the alcoholic beverage license as well, though.