Eataly Closes Wine Store for Six Months After Violating State Liquor Rules

By Heather Holland on March 25, 2014 8:04pm 

 Eataly Vino will close for six months and paid the SLA a fine of $500,000 for breaking rules.
Eataly Vino will close for six months and paid the SLA a fine of $500,000 for breaking rules.
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FLATIRON — Eataly’s wine store will shut down for six months and pay a half million dollar fine for violating state rules, State Liquor Authority officials said.

As part of a settlement between the state and Eataly and its owner Mario Batali, the SLA suspended the Italian market’s license, forcing it to close temporarily, the SLA confirmed.

Eataly Vino, New York, regrets that it will close for six months, during which time we will resolve various technical requirements raised by the New York State Liquor Authority,” said a spokeswoman for Eataly.

The SLA charged Batali and his partners, including celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich and her son, Joseph Bastianich, with breaking the rules by having interests in the manufacture or wholesaling of wine at its 200 Fifth Ave. store, Crain's New York Business initially reported.

The partners were also charged with submitting "a false material statement or suppressed information concerning the interest of its LLC members  where alcoholic beverages are manufactured, transported or sold at wholesale,” according to SLA documents.

The SLA told Batali and his partners of the charges in a notice sent Feb. 11, and the company originally pleaded not guilty, according to records.

In a Feb. 28 settlement between Eataly and the SLA, the store asked to change its plea from “not guilty” to “no contest,” and agreed to close the store for half a year and pay the fine, documents show.

The SLA and Eataly could not immediately say when the suspension would start, but a spokeswoman for Eataly said it is hoping to open back up later this year.

“We are working diligently to address any concerns the Authority has and look forward to reopening in the fall,” she added.

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