Buying a Restaurant in New York

When embarking on the journey of establishing a new eatery, expanding into a different location, or buying an existing restaurant, the allure of an already outfitted commercial space tailored for restaurant operations can be compelling.

However, prudent guidance from a seasoned New York City restaurant attorney is essential. Whether assuming the lease of an established establishment or entering into a new commercial lease for a space tailored for restaurant use, there are critical considerations to evaluate.

On the positive side, purchasing a restaurant or bar presents an opportunity to inherit a turnkey operation with a proven track record of profitability. Equipped with essential infrastructure and existing brand recognition, such ventures can offer value beyond tangible assets. In certain instances, acquiring an established restaurant may be more cost-effective than launching a new eatery.

Nevertheless, when sellers demand a substantial premium for intangible assets such as goodwill, careful assessment of the associated benefits and drawbacks is imperative. Particularly in franchise scenarios, inflated prices may be levied for minimal value additions such as brand identity and branded consumables.

Undertaking a new or vacant restaurant space takeover also presents its own set of challenges. The location’s previous unsuccessful ventures or lingering negative reputations can adversely impact a new startup’s prospects. Moreover, unresolved financial obligations may deter vendors from resuming services, potentially complicating operational continuity.

Assuming the lease or restaurant operations also entail potential exposure to undisclosed liabilities, including unpaid vendor invoices, which could translate into unforeseen financial burdens.

Furthermore, refurbishing premises previously occupied by restaurants may incur higher costs than initiating operations from scratch, considering the condition of existing equipment.

Engaging a reputable law firm well-versed in real estate, restaurant, liquor, and zoning laws significantly enhances the likelihood of securing an ideal location for your new business venture. Key considerations include ensuring compliance with ventilation and safety codes, fire and evacuation protocols, parking and ADA regulations, Certificate of Occupancy requirements, zoning stipulations, and liquor licensing prerequisites, including proximity restrictions.

To schedule a consultation when buying a restaurant, contact us at (212) 619-1500.