Want to open a bar here in New Jersey? It’ll cost you! (Opinion)
This week in Montclair, New Jersey the town council approved the sale of an existing liquor license for $1,000,000. The liquor license was transferred and sold to Fresco de Franco an Italian restaurant in Montclair.
So before they can make a profit on a glass of scotch, cold beer, or Pink Squirrel, they have to cover the cost of that liquor license, the $1,000,000 license.
The price of a liquor license here in New Jersey is very costly and an available license is hard to find, it’s also causing a crippling effect on the New Jersey dining community. Those restaurants that unfortunately fell to the pandemic are having a tough time selling their license as potential buyers are far and few in between
Many years ago I was in negotiations to buy a restaurant here in Jersey that was close to the Shore. I had narrowed down my choice to two places for purchase; one had a liquor license available as part of the sale for $750,000 and the other license was at $900,000. So before I bought the space, renovated, or hired any personnel, I was in the hole close to $1,000,000.
The good news is that once you have possession of that license it’s like owning real estate and in most cases will hold its value for years. For several reasons getting into the restaurant business wasn’t for me but my respect for those in the business never wanes.
So the next time you’re enjoying a meal at your favorite restaurant doesn’t assume that the owner “is making a killing” the expenses to bring you that enjoyment are pretty costly. Please support our restaurant community here in New Jersey.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.