Hell Square in ‘New Territories’ with Pitch for Spiked Ice Cream

Posted on: April 15th, 2019 at 5:07 am by

In Hell Square, even the ice cream needs liquor. More. More. More.

New Territories, the two-year-old Orchard Street ice cream shop, now seeks a full liquor license. Presumably for some kind of alcoholic frozen treats.

This is – forgive the pun – somewhat new territory. The State Liquor Authority issued a declaratory ruling in January stating that spiked ice cream is not considered an alcoholic beverage by law if the booze content is between .5% and 5%

Below from the state’s judgment:

Ice cream, and other frozen desserts, made with wine, beer or cider with an alcohol content of no more than five percent (5%) is not considered an alcoholic beverage. Even though it is not designated as an alcoholic beverage, if the product has an alcohol content of at least one-half of one percent (0.5%) by volume but no more than five percent (5%) by volume it cannot be sold to any person under the age of twenty-one. In addition, if the product is sold for off-premises consumption, the sale is subject to the following restrictions:

  • The product must be in the sealed package as received from the manufacturer or distributor;
  • The product’s package contains statements regarding the presence of wine, beer or cider in the product; the prohibition regarding sales to individuals under the age of twenty-one; the risk of birth defects if consumed by a woman during pregnancy; the impairment to the ability to drive caused by the consumption by of the product; and
  • Signage in the retail establishment containing the above statements.

It would appear, based on its questionnaire to Community Board 3, that New Territories hopes to serve concoctions with alcohol content higher than the mandated 5% threshold. As such, neighbors fear that the intention might be to both increase the value of the commercial space by converting a previously unlicensed location, and also legally spike their shakes.

Even if New Territories is successful in netting the full OP, the Lower East Side Dwellers Block Association is not optimistic about drinking age enforcement in a destination for folks under 21. The group is opposed to the change, for the record.

“As a mother of a teenager, I know firsthand that meeting for bubble tea or milkshakes is common,” says Dwellers founder Diem Boyd.

“In many ways, New Territories is targeting our youth, and if granted a full liquor license, could mix stronger alcohol content than the up to 5% already permissible by law. I suspect these alcohol infused milkshakes will inevitably get into the hands of underage drinkers.”

Does an ice cream shop surrounded by a halo of forty-plus liquor licenses merit one itself?

CB3 will hear the application at the SLA subcommittee meeting tonight.

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