After an investigation by the New York State Liquor Authority, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich will close the wine store inside their Italian food emporium Eataly for a six-month duration and pay a $500,000 fine to the state. Crain's New York reports Batali and Bastianich reached the settlement with the NYSLA today, after the agency accused the duo of skirting a law prohibiting liquor-license holders from also being producers of wine, locally or internationally. (Bastianich and his mother, Lidia Bastianich, famously own a winery in Friuli, Italy.) Per Crain's, the NYSLA also charged Batali with "suppressing information" about his partners' wine business.
As expected, Batali and Bastianich withdrew their prior "not guilty" plea in favor of settling, and the result: Eataly's wine store liquor license has been revoked for six months, and Lidia Bastianich has been removed from the store's ownership. The ruling does not affect any of the restaurants at Eataly, or any of Batali's other NYC restaurants. An Eataly spokesperson tells Crain's no date has been set for the wine store to start serving its time.
· Eataly Wine Store to Close in Liquor-License Dispute [Crain's via Eater NY]
· All Eataly Coverage on Eater [-E-]