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New Opportunities for Liquor Licenses in Monmouth County

on-premises liquor consumption

On August 17, 2018, Governor Murphy signed an amendment to New Jersey’s Alcoholic Beverage Law that will expand the number of on-site retail consumption licenses available in Eatontown, Tinton Falls, and Oceanport – the three municipalities where the former Fort Monmouth army post was located.

As an exception to the law that limits the number of on-site consumption licenses to 1 per every 3,000 residents, the new statute allows the above municipalities to issue 12 new licenses among them over the next 3 years.  The statute states that 2 can be issued by the municipality with the largest population, 4 by the municipality with the smallest population, and the other 6 to be issued by the remaining municipality.  And if a municipality within the project area has not issued a special license within the next 3 years, it can transfer the license to another municipality within the project area for a fee.  The licenses must be sited within the project redevelopment area.

The fee for the initial transfer of the license from the municipality to a licensee will be based on the average sales price of plenary retail consumption licenses in the municipality during the five years prior to the bill’s enactment (and if less than 3 licenses have been sold in the municipality within the past 5 years, the host municipality will obtain an appraisal to determine the fair market value of the license – at the applicant’s expense of course).

The expansion of liquor licenses will bring welcome opportunities for restaurants, bars, and hotels at the former Fort Monmouth site as the area is redeveloped.

For information regarding national and state liquor law matters or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact our Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group: Liquor Law Department Chair Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire (; David C. Berger, Esquire ( for Pennsylvania and New Jersey retail and manufacturing licensing; or contact our offices at 610-391-1800.