September 2018
In this issue...
  • Upcoming Industry Events
  • Articles:
    - Ten Considerations When Negotiating Your Restaurant Construction Contract
    - Client Alert:  Updates Coming to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission
  • Marketing Corner
  • Industry Trends/News
  • Client News
  • Events & Participation

Upcoming Industry Events

National Retail Tenants Association - Expanding Knowledge Conference
September 30 - October 3, 2018 | Houston, TX
Ruberto, Israel & Weiner's Dave Robinson & Adam Barnosky will be presenting at this conference. 

Attorney Robinson will be speaking on Writing and Responding to Demand Letters and The Art of Negotiations.  

Attorney Barnosky will be presenting a course on restaurant leasing, along with in-house counsel for Starbucks, and a course on retail considerations in the emerging cannabis industry.

More info.

2018 MRA Educational Foundation Summit:
Restaurants - THE NEW FRONTIER
October 2, 2018 | The Verve - Natick, MA 
RIW's Michael Rosen will present on a panel discussion regarding the Cannabis industry and food trends.
More info.

Boston Magazine's Top 50 Restaurants

October 30, 2018 | City Winery - Boston, MA
RIW's Kelly Caralis will moderate this event.

Restaurant Finance & Development Conference
November 12-14, 2018 | Las Vegas
RIW's Lou Katz & Russ Stein will be presenting at this event.

The Restaurant Finance Monitor's 2018 Restaurant Finance & Development Conference is November 12-14, 2018 at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. The conference is all about the “business” side of the restaurant business and is a must attend event for restaurant company owners and executives. The conference is known as the restaurant “dealmakers” event—you will find the best networking in the industry there. More info. 

Ten Considerations When Negotiating Your Restaurant Construction Contract

Opening a restaurant is an exciting time, but an owner must take care while negotiating the construction contract to protect itself and anticipate the key issues that may arise during the project. Below are ten issues to consider when drafting and negotiating your construction contract.

1. Avoid cost-plus contracts.
Cost-plus contracts should be avoided for two reasons. First, they involve a significant administrative component, as the owner and/or the architect must review the invoices and audit the contractor’s books to ensure that the claimed costs are reimbursable under the terms of the contract. Second, and more importantly, these contracts provide no incentive to contractors to control costs, unlike a fixed-price contract in which the price is set and the contractor bears the risk of completing the project within that price. If at all possible, choose a fixed-price contract. Alternatively, if the project is risky (due to unknown conditions or an unfinished design) and you must enter into a cost-plus contract, establish a guaranteed maximum price to cap the costs.

2. Avoid upfront deposits.
The key to successfully managing a construction project is controlling the flow of money, and an owner should avoid advance payments unless absolutely necessary. If there are certain specialty items or other items that a contractor needs to order and pay for in advance of the work beginning, a deposit may make sense. In most situations, however, payment of deposits should be avoided. 
Full Article
Kirk McCormick is an attorney in RIW’s Litigation and Construction Law Groups. Kirk can be reached at or 617-570-3551.

Client Alert:  Updates Coming to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission

On September 5, 2018 the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) held an outreach seminar with attorneys and municipal counsel to discuss new rules and procedures covering retail license applications, annual renewals, website updates, and more.  Information was provided by Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and ABCC leadership, including: Commissioner Jean Lorizio, Executive Director Ralph Sacramone, and Licensing Supervisor Ryan Mellville.  Below is summary of the updates:

Agency Budget Increase & New Hires. The treasurer secured additional funding for the ABCC, which will be used, in part, on new staffing, including: additional investigators, associate general counsel, and upgrading two associate commissioners from part to full time.  These will be the first additional hires to the investigations department in over ten years, during which time the licensing caseload nearly doubled.

Full Article
Adam Barnosky is an attorney in RIW’s Hospitality & Retail ServicesCommercial Real Estate, and Corporate & Business Practice Groups. Adam can be reached at, (617) 570-3519, or on Twitter at @adambarnosky.

Marketing Corner

Good Will Ambassadors… Everywhere

Every staff member who potentially interacts with each and every customer, either in person or on the phone,  is a goodwill ambassador for your establishment. As such, it's really important for all staff to be well-versed in the fundamentals of who you are, what you do and what's available to the customers on any given day.

This should include important or interesting anecdotes about the business, its history and its people, a general understanding of your ‘concept’ and business ‘personality’, and what's going on any given day in the establishment, from music schedule, if applicable, to food or drink specials, as well as the menu in general.

As important, or maybe more so, is that all staff understand the importance of making sure that every interaction with a guest  is friendly, personable, informative, and responsive. And that they are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.

Boston Harbor Distillery

New Product Launch

Boston Harbor Distillery (BHD) is celebrating it’s third anniversary by launching it’s first whiskey produced on site in 2015, Putnam New England Single Malt Whiskey, bottled at 100 proof. 
Founded by alcohol beverage industry veteran, Rhonda Kallman in 2012, BHD creates proprietary spirits that integrate rich history, distinctive experiences and beverage culture into each bottle it produces. 

Housed in a pre-Civil War era building overlooking Boston Harbor, the Distillery serves as both a distilling facility, event space and tasting room & mercantile. BHD pulls inspiration from New England’s bounty of seasonal tastes to distill and bottle their own proprietary brands featuring the names of early Massachusetts entrepreneurs who once occupied the same site: Putnam New England Whiskey; Lawley’s Small Batch Rums; and Maple Cream & Coffee Liqueurs inspired by Seymour’s Ice Cream. Additionally, BHD distills finished Sam Adams beer varieties into one-of-a-kind 84 proof spirits.  All BHD spirits have a uniquely Boston accent!

RIW Client News

Congratulations to RIW clients David Doyle and Robyn McGrath on the opening of Little Dipper in Jamaica Plain this past July. Full article.

RIW Events and Participation

Click here to request more information, or copies of any event presentation materials. 

Massachusetts Restaurant Association’s Summer Event at the Colonnade Hotel on July 25, 2018.

Pictured, RIW’s Adam Barnosky, along with Bob Cioffi and Marie Fuedo from New England Restaurant Brokers. Also in attendance were RIW's Kelly Caralis and Bethany Grazio.
RIW was a proud sponsor of the Boston Magazine's Battle of the Burger which took place on August 15, 2018 at the Black Falcon Terminal in Boston. 
RIW's Adam Barnosky, Michael Rosen, Russ Stein, Chris Agostino, Kirk McCormick, Dianna Williams, and Howie Altholtz attended the event. 
Left; Will Andronico, MFA; and Michael Rosen, RIW.
Center; Hannah Burgess, JP Morgan; Paul Wahlberg, Wahlburgers; Dana Djerf, Bain & Co.; Howie Altholtz, RIW; and Madeline Altholtz, Brown Advisory.
Right; Russ Stein, RIW; and Rebecca Stein.

Stay Connected

Attorneys in RIW’s Hospitality and Retail Services Group have provided legal services to industry clients for over 30 years. Our attorneys organize seminars, lecture, write articles, participate in trade associations, and serve on Boards of Advisors for retail, food and hospitality industry companies.

For a full description of our Hospitality and Retail Services Group, including a list of representative clients, click here.

Hospitality & Retail Services
Industry Group Attorneys

Adam Barnosky, Liquor Licensing, Zoning, and Permitting
Kelly Caralis, Mergers & Acquisitions and Leasing

Bradley Croft, Construction Law

Michael J. Duffy, Litigation

Stacey Friends, Trademark and Branding

Bethany Grazio, Mergers & Acquisitions and Financing

Louis Katz, Hospitality & Retail Services Group Chair
Mergers & Acquisitions and Leasing

David Robinson, Litigation, Employment

Michael D. Rosen, Commercial Real Estate; Zoning; Land Use; Leasing & Financing and Green Initiatives

Catherine Barton Rossetti, Trusts & Estates

Russell Stein, Mergers & Acquisitions and Leasing


Click here for past articles on a range of issues including: Finance; Leasing; Liquor Licensing; Data Security; Succession & Estate Planning; Disputes; Construction; Employment Law; and Trademark/Branding.

Published by Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C.

Adam Barnosky , Esq., Editor.
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