Bad news for weekend bingers: The New York City staple of “bottomless brunch,” where all-you-can-eat buffet principles are applied to bloody marys and mimosas, is now and always has been against the law. (Also, “bottomless brunch” has noting to do with not wearing pants while eating Eggs Benedict.) According to the New York State Liquor Authority, “The ABC Law prohibits from selling, serving, delivering, or offering to patrons an unlimited number of drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price.” Additionally, “this includes offerings of free drinks, or multiple drinks for free or for the price of a single drink, or for a low initial price followed by a price increment per hour or other period of time.” In fact, it’s illegal for a business to discount any drink lower than one-half of that drink’s regular price (so two-for-one specials are fine).
All-you-can-drink-brunch has been around for awhile, and this law has never been heavily enforced, if at all. So maybe this will change. Hopefully it does, as something as sophisticated and urbane as brunch should not be sullied with college-town-sports-bar all-you-can-drink tawdriness. It’s “hair-of-the-dog,” not “all-of-the-dog.” Champagne is not for chugging. If the NYS Liquor Authority doesn’t start enforcing this, I’m gonna go vigilante and start ticketing anyone I see drinking during the day, as part of my long-standing campaign against fun.