Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Target, Walmart file rule challenge for ‘whiskey and Wheaties’

View Original Article Here

Target and Walmart are heading to court to get an administrative law judge to give them what Gov. Rick Scott wouldn’t: The ability to sell whiskey and Wheaties in the same store. 
The big-box retailers late Monday filed an administrative challenge against the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages And Tobacco (ABT).

At issue: The state’s obscure, 24-year-old “Restaurant Rule,” which restricts eateries and other businesses that have ‘consumption on premises’ liquor licenses from selling anything other than items “customarily sold in a restaurant.” The plaintiffs say the rule is “not supported by logic or necessary facts.”
For over eight decades, Florida law — enacted after Prohibition — has required retailers to sell hard liquor in a separate store, though beer and wine can be sold in grocery aisles.
The current end game is that retailers selling ready-to-eat food, such as Costco, would be able to use consumption on premises licenses normally granted to restaurants to avoid the prohibition on selling booze in the same space as other goods.
(Costco isn’t involved in the current case, but has also been fighting the battle. One of its Florida stores was denied a consumption on premises license earlier this year.)
Bills have been filed since 2014 to remove the wall of separation between hard liquor and other items. Last year, legislation barely passed both chambers only to get vetoed by Scott, who said it’d be a job killer for small businesses, many of whom would likely be overwhelmed by big-box stores’ superior selling power.
Attorneys for the GrayRobinson law firm, which has represented Costco in Florida, filed the petition challenging the Restaurant Rule on behalf of Target and Walmart, each of which “operate(s) numerous locations in the state of Florida that are licensed as restaurants.”
“In effect, the Rule forecloses (them) from obtaining a consumption on premises license,” the petition says.
ABT’s rule defines items “customarily sold in a restaurant” as only “ready to eat appetizer items, ready to eat salad items, ready to eat entrĂ©e items, ready to eat vegetable items, ready to eat fruit items (and) hot or cold beverages.” State law, however, is silent.
In any case, the state “has granted hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for consumption on premises licenses for entities that sell items beyond those identified in the Rule,” the petition says.
“Applications that have been approved include ones for golf country clubs, hotels, casinos, movie theatres, retail stores, sports complexes, bowling alleys, and senior living complexes, among others, all of which, in addition to ready to eat foods and beverages and lottery tickets, sell merchandise like golf clubs, clothing, toiletries, jewelry, fashion accessories, movie tickets, cosmetic products and other items similar to those sold by petitioners.”
Also joining the challenge is the TopGolf “golf entertainment” chain, which has five locations in Florida.
State regulators have “also recently informed TopGolf that its Florida locations, which are licensed for consumption on premises, are prohibited from selling items other than those identified in the Rule, despite the fact that TopGolf has been selling such items since opening each location in Florida,” the petition says.
ABT “was fully aware of such sales at the time it issued the licenses to TopGolf. Yet, the Division has now decided to selectively enforce the Rule against TopGolf and other similar restaurant retailers.”
The case has not yet been assigned to a judge at the Division of Administrative Hearings.
An attorney representing PublixABC Fine Wine & Spirits, and the Florida Independent Spirits Association, all of which oppose tearing down the wall, warned regulators at a rule-making workshop earlier this year. 
“The purpose of rule-making is to interpret statutes, not to get around laws that a party does not like,” said William Hall of the Jones Walker firm. “The (state) should reject this attempt to use rule-making to usurp the legislative process.”
Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

9 Arepas Attains Full Quota License

Our Broward County client, 9 Arepas, has secured their quota license. This license permits the Pembroke Pines establishment to sell beer, wine, and spirits (liquor).

License owners pay an annual license fee. The state does not set the price for a license, itself, on the open market. It is decided by supply and demand. A transfer fee, which is not to exceed $5000, is also enforced.

Contact us for your liquor licensing needs. Whether you need to buy, sell, or seek financing, we have the tools for you to succeed. See a full list of services here.

How much does a 4COP liquor license cost in Florida?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Congratulate The Brass Tap On Miami Opening

We would like to congratulate our client, The Brass Tap, in Miami, Florida. Thank you for allowing us to assist you with your food and beverage licensing needs.

Visit them at 9010 SW 72nd Place, Miami, FL 33156

Contact us to assist you with your liquor licensing needs.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Enjoy A Drink And Time Away From The Office On Labor Day

Labor Day festivities are a great time to take kick back, spend time with friends, eat delicious food, and most of all, enjoy a good drink or two. Many people will be seeking to improve their gatherings with alcoholic beverages on their time away from work. You should be prepared to serve it up.

Liquor License FL has the ability to make sure you're covered. Benefit from our smooth, quick process. Don't miss out on potential sales. We know what it's like to open a new business, so let us handle the bureaucratic hurdles, saving you time and money.

See a full list of our services here.

Contact us now to help you buy the liquor license your establishment needs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Congratulations to our New Licensees - 8/28

We are proud to announce our most recent licensees. We would like to congratulate them for completing steps towards improving their business via liquor sales. By working with us at Liquor License FL, they are able to to sell alcohol based on their establishment's needs.

See licensees listed below:

9 Arepas - Pembroke Pines - 4COP quota license
Bayside Liquors - 312 W Ardice Ave, Eustis, FL 32726 - 4COP quota license
Annie B's - 8501 Placida Rd Unit a4, Placida, FL - 4COP-SFS
Cinema 31 Studios - 2172 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 - upgraded to 4COP quota license
Foremost Liquors & Wines - 644 Park Ave, Orange Park, FL - new location, 3PS license
Isabella's Bistro - 6800 Placida Rd, Englewood, FL - beer and wine 2COP - and food service licensing
Rusty's Raw Bar Cape Coral - 4631 SE 10th Pl, Cape Coral, FL 33904 - upgrade to 4COP quota license
Stuart Boathouse - 49 SW Seminole St, Stuart, FL 34994- 4COP SFS license

Call today for information on buying, selling, or refinancing a quota license.

See our full list of services here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

3 Types of Liquor Licenses You Should Know

2COP: This type of license allows your establishment to sell beer and wine for consumption on premises as well as package sales. Your customers may consume them inside or outside of your establishment. This is typically used for restaurants and bars.

Keep in mind, the price depends on your location and population. However, the annual renewal fee is $392 in a majority of Florida's counties.

4COP-SFS (Special Food Service License): Consumption on premise ONLY beer, wine, and spirits. You must meet the requirements which are the same across 90% of Florida. These requirements are a venue of 2,500 square feet or more, licensed to serve 150 persons or more with division of hotel and restaurants, and must maintain 51% or more of gross sales in food and non alcoholic beverages (49% or less beer, wine, and spirits.

4COP/3PS Quota License: This is the highest series available in Florida. Restaurants, bars, and lounges who want to sell liquor in addition to beer and wine need the 4COP license. It allows consumption on/off premises and package sales of beer, wine, and spirits. If an establishment plans to engage in bottle sales for off site consumption, the 4COP license is required.

Thanks to the way that these license are distributed, you will have limited competition in your sector. Prices are based on supply and demand. Therefore, you can expect to pay between $50,000-$700,000 depending on the county you operate in. Don't worry. Third party financing is available with no credit check required. 


More information is available about each license at

Plan ahead and give your self plenty of time to secure the license you need. You don't want to wait until the last minute as sometimes licenses are hard to come by. When you need assistance in buying, selling, or financing a license, contact us at Liquor License FL.

See our full list of services here.


Monday, July 30, 2018

North Miami Beach Commissioner Arrested on Liquor License Bribery Charges

Gov. Rick Scott has suspended North Miami Beach commissioner Frantz Pierre after his arrest on charges of bribery and money laundering

On top of that, the North Miami Beach Commissioner is also in legal trouble for an alleged attempt to steal thousands of public dollars which was intended for  an after-school program that did not exist.

Pierre is charged with single counts of bribery, unlawful compensation, an organized scheme to defraud, and grand theft along with seven counts of money laundering. He was suspended from office by Florida Governor Rick Scott with an executive order that prohibits him from receiving a city paycheck or benefits.

"He sold his vote," states Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, via Miami Herald.

Investigators claim Pierre texted Dean Tyler, owner of Dean's Gold gentleman's club: "Mail $7-8K to Frantz Pierre at 821 NE 121 Street, NORTH MIAMI, FL 33162. BE FOREVER BLESSED"

" I just put a check for $7,000 in the mail," Tyler reportedly responded. "It will go out tomorrow."

"Thank you so much. That will not be forgotten," Pierre reportedly wrote.

Investigators have evidence that Tyler and Pierre also met at the strip club to discuss the deal. Tyler needed Pierre to change his mind about allowing him to get a license to keep the strip club open until 6 a.m.

"Pierre had voted against the 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Business Tax Receipt for Dean's Gold in 2013, but then he voted for the 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Business Tax Receipt in 2014, in 2015 and again in 2016," said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.

Pierre's attorney responded to the allegations quickly, saying his client was innocent and that he'd like to speak with Tyler to gain insight into the claims that Pierre solicited money for votes.

"Commissioner Pierre asserts the has done nothing wrong," Kuene said. "He's always acted in the public interest and we will investigate the allegations."

Investigators accuse Pierre of asking Tyler to donate $9,865 to Community Hope for Children and Families in Need, a non-for-profit owned by Jacquelin Alexis, who also owns Psychoed & Consultation Services. Alexis is accused of giving $5,250 to Pierre.

Alexis also solicited $5,000 from the city for an after-school tutoring program that investigators say doesn't exist. After the city issued $2,000 from Pierre's discretionary fund with the commission to Community Hope for Children and Families in Need, investigators say Alexis paid Pierre $2,905.

"This program was used, it was used, as a means of laundering additional money that was provided to commissioner Pierre," Fernandez-Rundle said.

Investigators say Pierre knew he was involved in bribery, unlawful compensation, and an organized scheme to defraud when he accepted four checks from Tyler and three checks from Alexis. Officers also arrested Alexis on one count of grand theft.

Miami-Dade county Judge Renata S. Francis cleared the way for Pierre to post 435,000 bond. His attorney first had to prove the money being used was clean.

ABC 10