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 Breaking News:


Historic merger between United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York
 and New York City Hospitality Alliance

New York, December 1st, 2014 – The United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York's (UR&TO) more than 250 pubs and bars have merged into the New York City Hospitality Alliance (The Alliance), creating the most diverse and powerful NYC based trade association to represent the interests of eating and drinking establishments throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

The UR&TO, circa 1937 founded by restaurant and tavern owners, has been devoted to representing the unique concerns of on-premise liquor licensees in New York City. The organization is well known for representing the largest coalition of pubs in the city.   In 2012 when prominent restaurant, nightlife and hotel operators joined with industry suppliers to form The Alliance, the two organizations naturally shared mutual interests and developed a working partnership.  The two organizations advocated together to reduce regulatory burdens and benefited from the member services offered by both organizations.  The informal partnership worked so well that the UR&TO's Board of Directors voted to merge into The Alliance, signifying a further unification of the NYC hospitality industry and a consolidation of industry power and influence.

"I'm dealing with the same expensive fines and complicated laws at my pub that the restaurants down the block are dealing with," said Kathleen Reilly, president of The United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York and owner of several pubs, including The Coliseum Bar and Restaurant. "So, merging with the New York City Hospitality Alliance means that our industry will be more organized and effective when advocating for common-sense regulatory reforms."

Jeffrey Bank, CEO of the Alicart Restaurant Group and president of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, welcomed his industry colleagues from The United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York. "Pubs are quintessential New York City, and I'm thrilled that this important segment of the hospitality industry will have a voice on our Board of Directors and in our membership."  

"I've been impressed by how the New York City Hospitality Alliance created a respected political voice for our industry.  Our company has benefited from the information and education they offer, which helps us to stay in compliance with the many changing laws and regulations," said Martin Whelan, owner of Stout and vice president of The United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York.

"We are one hospitality industry in New York City, so it makes sense to have one voice to represent our interests in the halls of government, and one organization to provide us industry information, education, services and opportunities to network. Today's merger is very meaningful news for anyone who cares about the economic well-being of the city's small business community and vibrancy of our world renowned hospitality industry," said the New York City Hospitality Alliance's executive director, Andrew Rigie.

 As of December 1st, 2014 all members of the UR&TO will be transferred to The Alliance and several UR&TO Board Members will be elected as voting Directors on The Alliance's governing board.  While the UR&TO will be dissolved, their existing Board of Directors will form a fraternal organization that’s mission will be to raise money for charities.



UR&TO Background:

The United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York, Inc. is an alliance of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, inns, and hotels which all share the prestige - and the headaches - of operating in the entertainment and attraction center of the world.

From its founding, in 1937, by restaurant and tavern owners, who joined together to negotiate labor contracts and to collectively face other interests, the UR&TO has been devoted to the unique concerns of Manhattan's on-premise licensee.

We are a group of entrepreneurs different from our colleagues in the industry. Our patrons are a collection of the world's most influential citizenry, and by the nature and locations of our businesses, we are ambassadors to the people of many nations. We are part of the reason people vacation and convene in New York.

However, as we embark on our seventh decade of service, the economic, legislative and emotional climate surrounding the serving of alcohol is as disenchanting as ever. Some of our colleagues refer to this era as "the new prohibition".

The on-premise licensee must accept expanded liability, government's failure to protect small business, ever-changing rules, resolutions and fines. In addition, our industry is first looked to by the state and federal government when they seek to grow their tax revenues.

The need for the local business owners in our industry to build and strengthen relationships and understanding with our counterparts in government is clear. It is also important to foster alliances in the industry and in changing public perceptions and media stereotypes.

If we feel very much alone facing a less certain future, it is because we are. But it has been in times of fraternity that our industry has experienced strength. And, it is now, more than ever, a time to come together and draw on our collective resources, strengthen our voices and face our challenges together.


© 2014 United Restaurant & Tavern Owners of New York, INC