HRAWI Lauds State Excise Department’s Decision to Allow Rooftop Restaurants of Hotels to serve liquor

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has welcomed the move and further indicated that it will continue holding dialogues with the Government for making the same applicable to standalone restaurants too.

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THE MAHARASHTRA State Excise Department vide a Government Resolution (G.R.) has granted permission to star-rated hotels in the State to serve liquor in their open-to-air terrace restaurants, which until now was permitted to only serve food.

According to the release, the permission will be granted only to those hotels that have obtained a NOC from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and from the Fire Department for statutory compliances. The GR also allows hotels to apply for a single Composite licence covering all their restaurants, lounges and cafes making the process of applying for liquor licence simpler.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has welcomed the move and further indicated that it will continue holding dialogues with the Government for making the same applicable to standalone restaurants too.

Appreciating the decision, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, HRAWI said, “The Association has been liasioning with the various departments of State for over a decade on this subject. We wish to thank the State Government, the Excise Ministry and are especially grateful to Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary of the State Excise Department for considering our suggestions. While this is applicable only for star-rated hotels as of now, we would be interacting with the department to include non-starred hotels and standalone restaurants also. Classification and star rating by the Government is to be used as a guideline, to be followed by the industry and is not a rule, therefore we shall be requesting the Department to de-link the benefits to be derived through policies from classification and star ratings.”

“The rooftop wine and dine culture is widely popular across all the major tourist destinations and global cities of the world. We can now offer our guests from abroad the option to wine and dine in an open-to-sky ambience which many of them prefer. Of course, our own Mumbaikars too can now experience the pleasure of this kind of a diner set-up,” added Kohli.

“The decision to combine all the restaurant licences into one simply eases the process. Under the composite licence, hotels will continue to pay the stipulated fees for each of its F&B outlets, but the permissions will be clubbed into one single licence. While both decisions are great and will benefit hotels, we were also hopeful that the Government would include stand-alone restaurants for offering alcohol to their guests on their rooftops. We will continue to engage with the authorities on this front, as well as request them to consider granting permission to all hotels and restaurants and not just the star rated ones to serve liquor on their rooftops,” said Kamlesh Barot, past President, HRAWI.


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