Letter to the editor APP.com
State’s bistros need beer, wine licenses
NOVEMBER 8, 2009
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BYOB is un-American. The New Jersey policy that allows retaurant patrons to bring their own wine and beer for consumption into an establishment cripples one of the foundations of this country — small businesses.
Only larger, usually corporate bars can afford a New Jersey liquor license, which averages $500,000 per license. This price is prohibitively expensive for a small retaurant.
As a result, the small corner bistro must depend solely on the markup on food for profits. The markup on beer and wine is where the money is. That is why bars can offer meals at such low prices.
Given the high cost of food, labor, taxes and operating costs, it is almost impossible for a small BYOB restaurant to stay in business.
New Jersey needs beer and wine licenses. A limited license, at an affordable price, would allow small bistros to sell beer and wine only, and only as an accompaniment to food.
More businesses mean more jobs, which means lower social services, which means lower taxes. More retail sales generates more tax revenue, which means lower income taxes.
The patrons would benefit as well, as the price of a meal would drop (because restaurants would realize profits from the alcohol).
But our cowardly state senators bow to lobbying groups. The New Jersey Restaurant Association fears that creating a state beer and wine license would devalue the liquor licenses held by bars. But a beer and wine license is a different category entirely.
Shame on our senators for ignoring the needs of small businesses and not creating a New Jersey beer and wine license.
POINT PLEASANT BEACH