Mattituck restaurant’s liquor license application needs Town Board to weigh in

The owners of goodfood. in Mattituck have submitted a liquor license application to the New York State Liquor Authority, but first they need a nod from Southold Town to allow them to play “soft recorded music” inside.

According to Stephen Kiely, an attorney for the owner, the application was submitted “many moons ago” but there was a discrepancy between what’s known as a 30-day notice and the application regarding music. To obtain a liquor license, applicants must indicate if they plan to have music — live, recorded or otherwise — at their establishment. 

The restaurant has already been serving alcoholic beverages under a temporary license.

“When [owner Luchi Masliah] submitted the 30-day, she assumed it was live music, but when I did the application, I put recorded music,” Mr. Kiely said. “They’re not having any live music, they’re not having any outdoor music, they’re just playing a radio.”

The discrepancy prompted the state regulatory board to ask for a letter indicating whether the town supports their application.

Town officials discussed the application at a work session Tuesday. While the consensus of the board is to support the proposal as long as the music is kept indoors and otherwise abides by the town’s noise code, the issue prompted a discussion on how plans for music relate to the overall site planning process.

As site plans move through the planning process, applicants are often required to show how to mitigate noise impacts by using things like buffers. 

Supervisor Scott Russell acknowledged that serving alcohol may not have been part of their initial vision. “People shift directions out of necessity,” he said.

Even if town officials support music played on a radio, that would be approved as part of SLA’s review and thus not enforceable by Southold if violated with outdoor or live music. “A restriction under SLA is not going to assist us, other than giving us the ability to complain to SLA that they’re not complying with the license,” assistant town attorney John Burke said.

The board agreed that soft music on a radio probably wouldn’t negatively impact the neighborhood and Councilwoman Sarah Nappa noted that liquor licenses are non-transferable if the property were ever to change ownership. But they agreed it’s something to consider on future applications. 

“I don’t think we should be in the business of modifying business practices through SLA applications,” Mr. Russell said, adding that he didn’t want to delay them in this instance over a radio or force them into an expensive site plan review process. “I just want to make sure there’s consistency.”

Mr. Kiely said his client isn’t seeking a liquor license so her business can function as a bar. 

“It’s something her customers had asked for,” he said, adding that the selection would include bottled beer and canned wine.