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MATTER SANTINI RESTAURANTS v. STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY (04/02/69)

SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT


April 2, 1969

IN THE MATTER OF SANTINI RESTAURANTS, INC., PETITIONER,
v.
STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY, RESPONDENT

Concur -- Stevens, P. J., Eager, McGivern and Nunez, JJ.

Determination of the New York State Liquor Authority disapproving petitioner's application for a restaurant liquor license unanimously annulled, on the law, with $50 costs and disbursements to petitioner, the petition granted and the Authority directed to grant petitioner's application. On the basis of the record, neither the "adverse license history" of the subject premises nor the "sensitive area" in which it is located justified the denial of the application. (See Matter of Sled Hill Cafe v. Hostetter, 22 N.Y.2d 607, 613; Matter of Clara & Bernard Rest. v. New York State Liq. Auth., 22 A.D.2d 871, 872; Matter of Waverly Rest. Corp. v. State Liq. Auth., 24 A.D.2d 985, 986.) Furthermore, the Authority had no right to ground its determination on the supposition that the principals of the licensee would fail to exercise the proper "degree of personal supervision" over the licensed premises and that they would not "have a highly competent, experienced and vigilant staff to insure the lawful, orderly and proper conduct of such premises". The Authority may not justify the denial of a proper liquor license application submitted by responsible persons, on the basis of a mere speculation that the premises would be operated in violation of law. (Matter of Sled Hill Cafe v. Hostetter, supra ; Matter of 238 Rest. v. New York State Liq. Auth., 19 Misc. 2d 975, 978.) Under the circumstances, we conclude that "the Authority's conclusions are based on speculative inferences unsupported by the record" and, therefore, "its determination should be annulled" on the ground that it is "without foundation in reason or evidence". (See Matter of Sled Hill Cafe v. Hostetter, supra, pp. 612-613.)

19690402

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