Understanding the Rules Concerning Portable Bars

Bars must be permanently installed fixtures at licensed bars and restaurants. The interior diagram of the premise labels the location of the bar. However, temporary portable bars (including counters and other structures and devices serving the function of a bar) are allowable in ballrooms, meeting rooms and private dining rooms at a hotel, restaurant or club during private events where members of the general public are not admitted.

These additional bars, even though only used a small portion of the time, must be licensed as additional bars, paying the full fee for each such additional bar.  The additional bar must have the same license as the establishment’s primary bar. It is not possible to have full liquor at the main bar and beer/wine only at the additional bar (a significantly lower licensing fee).

A work-around is to have a service bar in the party room. No customers may order or be served from the service bar, but wait staff can use it to reduce the trip between the primary bar and party room by dispensing from the additional bar but having table service only.