BYOBabbo: Batali and Bastianich Restos May Lose Liquor Licenses

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The fate of several quartinos hangs in the balance. Photo: Patrick McMullan

For reasons that aren't entirely clear but are apparently related to the fact that the Bastianich family imports wine it also sells throughout its restaurants, the portfolio of New York places (Babbo, Lupa, Esca, et al.) owned or part-owned by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich all appear on the agenda of a State Liquor Authority meeting next week. Documents cite various cases pertaining to "interlocking interest" and indicate the penalties may include six-month suspensions of liquor licenses and/or fines. "Few restaurants could survive without a liquor license for six months but Bastianich might be able to," an industry source tells the blog Dr. Vino, which suggests the SLA may have recently shifted its outlook on businesses with cross-connected ownership. [Dr. Vino via Eater NY]