Getting a restaurant liquor license in New York City can be an enormous headache, but the team at Helbraun, Levey, and O’Donoghue helped us navigate it smoothly and successfully. They were especially responsive throughout the
process, which is important. They’re real mensches, even the Irish one.
We like Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue so much sometimes we forget that they are lawyers. They are diligent honest and don’t forget stylish. Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue can make hell feel like 70 degrees.
I was referred to David Helbraun by a friend and colleague whom I hold in the highest regard. That referral has been worth its weight in gold. Over the years of my involvement in the restaurant world I have been through a multitude of lawyers ranging from everything to lease review, liquor licenses, Department of Health appearances, operating agreements and litigation. In my past I have worked with different lawyers and firms depending on what I needed. Working with Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue has centered my points of contact and communication. Their thoroughness, professionalism, fairness and tenacity has been nothing short of a calming factor and source of comfort to my life. They allow me to focus on my business rather than being consumed by legal matters. I have referred many friends and colleagues and will continue to do so.
It’s simple. Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue are the best.
In the way that we, at Dovetail, have the goal to not only satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst but to provide the experience in a sophisticated way, Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue care not only about the outcome but the experience as well. I highly recommend them for all of the legal needs of your restaurant.
The team at Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue has been an important resource for our company. It’s been great to work with a firm that has a direct understanding of what issues restaurants encounter and that has absolutely helped our brand grow. They are personable, professional and considered part of our team.
We had been through several lawyers before we found Helbraun Levey & Donoghue. They’ve guided us through the sale of our former business and making Uncle Boon’s a possibility. We never felt as though we were just another client–They are always super responsive and really do care about their clients personally.
These guys are the best. Really. We’ve worked with many lawyers and we find Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue to be the most effective, smart, calm, sincere and efficient group we have ever worked with. We are happy and lucky to have them in our corner.
In three years of business, we had been through three lawyers, and three accountants, each making a worse mess than the previous. Finding Helbraun Levey & O’Donogue was a godsend. Finally we had a group of guys that could talk to us like normal human beings, and give us rational advise, in plain words. We’re butchers, not lawyers. These guys helped us get our house in order so everyone is on the same page, and working towards the same goals.
Opening a restaurant in New York City is not for the faint of heart. Without proper representation you won’t be left with a pot to piss in. Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue made sure we steered our way through the toughest times and got our business off to a rousing start!
From my initial meeting with David and Joseph I felt I had a dedicated team on my side. They are approachable, professional and understanding to the fact that I was an inexperienced owner. They lead and lead with confidence in lease negotiations, community board meetings, permits, SLA, DCA their knowledge, drive and support was always there. Through the entire process the education I received from these guys will be one that I carry with me and I believe makes me a better operator.
Joseph and David and Kevin have been so much more than just lawyers to us- they’ve been trusted advisors, confidants, therapists, and friends. From the very first time we met, their consummate professionalism put us at ease even the most difficult of situations. The process of opening a restaurant or bar is full of personnel decisions- from designers to architects to engineers to expeditors. Here’s one we’re 100% sure we nailed- we hired the right legal team. These are people that have been there for us 24/7 through this entire journey and I shutter to think about what could have happened to our business without them. My father is a lawyer, my brother-in-law is a lawyer, some of my best friends are lawyers, and yet i never really knew what it meant to ‘have’ a lawyer until now. These guys are our guys and we’re so thankful for it.
We met David at the very beginning of our journey, before we knew a soul in the industry and before our concept had fully taken shape. Between sharing wise advice and superb contacts, he and Joseph have played an instrumental role in our success. Beyond specifically doing an excellent job negotiating our lease agreement and navigating our beer & wine application, David and Joseph have shown a lot of belief and patience with us as we learned the ropes. All while charging very reasonable rates, especially given the high quality of service. It has been a pleasure working with them to this point, and we look forward to our continued partnership as we grow.
When you’re opening a restaurant it’s so important to have lawyers who are not only trustworthy and competent, but who also know the ins and outs of our industry. There are so many unique aspects to our business and David, Joseph and Kevin are truly experts. When you hire them you are getting the added benefit of their years of experience with the hospitality industry. They give you not just legal advice, but valuable business insight as well. As an added bonus, they are thoroughly nice people. I would recommend them highly to any restaurant or small business owner.
After several unsatisfactory experiences with different lawyers, some friends of ours recommended Helbraun, Levey, & O’Donoghue to us. Not only are David and Kevin great lawyers, they are also honest advisors. They are helpful, kind, and willing to provide their expertise to help their clients thrive.
Being a busy professional with extended work hours, I require to partner with a law firm that is responsive to my requirements, and respectful of my time. I have been working with Helbraun Levey for a long time now because I particularly appreciate its quick turnaround time. Both David and Joseph are very professional and have great legal accumen. Its a pleasure doing business with them.
I think they’re not stodgy. I don’t feel any pretense or arrogance with Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue. Plus, none of them are vegans.
I wish I had met the good lawyers at Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue four years ago, when I first started navigating the complicated legal side of the restaurant business. I’m convinced that they would have saved me thousands of dollars, as well as much time and frustration. In the past few months, though, they’ve made up for lost time by representing me at DOH tribunals, fighting like lions against the tyranny of city government. I’m awed by the skill and intelligence of their staff, and I look forward to working with the firm in years to come.
We couldn’t have asked for better counsel in opening our first restaurant. From day one, the entire team at Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue have been supportive, easy to work with, and invaluably helpful as we have grown our business from a kernel of an idea into a successful venture.
Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue handle many of our legal needs including licensing, corporate and litigation matters. Almost everyone at the firm has spend time working in the hospitality industry at some point in their career, allowing the firm to provide legal advice anchored in operating realities. This is definitely a unique selling point for the firm. They are easy to work with, highly communicative and they handle our matters with the utmost professionalism. We highly recommend them.
Entering a new market like New York can be a complex process full of painful lessons. Joseph Levey and his team at Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue helped us immensely by being straightforward and on the ball. HLO’s ability to cut through predictable project minutiae, deliver on expected results, and accommodate the inevitable last minute request has made Joseph and his team a pleasure to deal with every step of the way.
I first began working with Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue in the spring of 2012, shortly after I’d decided to move to New York City to open up a restaurant. As I finally approach my opening date, I cannot imagine what my journey would have been like without them. From setting up my company and writing operating, lease, purchasing and non-compete agreements, to drafting employee manuals and contracts and the successful handling of my liquor and sidewalk café licenses, they repeatedly demonstrated an extensive understanding and firm grasp of the city’s myriad laws. Their collective experience from working in the industry further underscores this talent and insider knowledge. Their guidance was invaluable when I severed relationships with former members of my team and challenged my landlord over numerous building and lease disputes, and their industry contacts are extensive, having made excellent referrals to individuals ranging from construction to intellectual property. In addition to being kind, honest, patient and attentive professionals, they are also passionate and likeminded mentors who I hold the utmost respect and admiration for. I am both lucky and grateful to have them be a part of my family, and would never have gotten this far without them.
Let’s hear it for
Helbraun Levey and O’Donoghue–
They cover the spectrum from Red to O’Blonoghue
Let’s hear it for
O’Donoghue Helbraun and Levey–
Even more Wondrous than little Stevey
Let’s hear it for
Levey O’Donoghue and Helbraun–
The one, the only, game in Taun
They are the cat’s miaow, the cat’s pyjommas
even if they forget their commas
Helbraun & Levey were a major asset for my company’s growth in 2009. After opening a beverage marking company in late 2008, David’s guidance and legal advice helped us make the right decisions in a time when the wrong move in our bad economy could have been detrimental. Instead we listened to David’s advice on all our client contracts, investment strategies and achieved a solid 2009. We plan on working with Helbraun & Levey for a long time
I cannot thank David and Joseph enough for the assistance they provided in handling my matter and evolving with the changing landscape of my deal. I cannot believe my good fortune in finding them to represent me. They possess all of the assets necessary for success; honor, sincerity & dedication on the clients behalf
I have been a client of Helbraun & Levey for many years. They have helped me with many business issues including: – Community board dealings – Liquor license renewals – Underage drinking summons – Alterations I have found that they have provided a personalized service rarely found nowadays when dealing with law firms. They were there for me every step of the way, and my results with them have been fabulous.
It was our first bar venture and naturally we were most anxious about the liquor license process. Helbraun & Levey not only assured us moving forward, they taught us about the procedure, the industry and expertly walked us through every step. They made the process easy for us to understand and to execute. Helbraun & Levey were quick to respond to our questions or concerns and we received our full license ahead of schedule. They were a pleasure to work with and are certainly masters of the bar and restaurant business.
Helbraun & Levey incorporated my business, referred all tax and insurance professionals and were totally fair and up front with their fees. David mediated heated battles with a very uncooperative landlord and helped me seal the deal on the space for my wine bar. David has an intimate understanding of the restaurant business and knows how to deal with people. In short, HE WILL GET THE JOB DONE!
We hired Helbraun & Levey as our general counsel after we had started our restaurant, I wish we had worked with him earlier! At the time we did not have legal counsel and had struggled through a trademark dispute which didn’t go our way. As our attorney, David was always available, responsive and helpful. We never had any problem reaching him, and as a former business owner he was very sensitive to the challenges we faced. When we decided to put our restaurant on the market, David protected our interests and gave us very good advice (which we sometimes heeded.) He and Joseph went above and beyond during our closing, which had quite a few challenges. All in all David is a savvy negotiator, a good listener and very effective. David has his finger on the pulse of the restaurant business scene in New York. I would absolutely recommend David and Joseph to anyone starting or operating a small business.
While navigating the many aspects of opening a restaurant it was extremely reassuring to have counsel that was proactively keeping us in the loop and was truly our advocates. Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue LLP will not only be our only attorney’s for current and future projects but will also be the only attorneys we recommend to others.
As a first time business owner, the process for opening my bar/restaurant was as daunting as it was exciting. I knew there would be challenges, delays, and problems that I couldn’t anticipate. One of the most unexpected and pleasurable experiences was working with Joseph Levey and David Helbraun at Helbraun & Levey LLP. Joseph and David were accessible, thorough and always professional. Their expertise was actually responsible for helping me to open my business BEFORE schedule. I can’t thank them enough for the quality of their work and their assistance in making my dream of having my own business a reality.
Kevin O’Donoghue was recommended from a business associate of mine when I was having trouble with my former partner in a bar I owned for 3 years with that person. I was a wreck and felt like I was in over my head. Kevin was pretty much a godsend in that he calmed me down and let me know that he would take over the situation. In the end Kevin got me 30 percent more than I believed I would get for my half of the business and I got paid in less than half the time. I will be forever in his debt.
We started talking to David long before we opened our business, long before we found our space. With all his experience in working in the food business, he was extremely helpful across many different areas of our business. We had many, many conversations before we even found our space and he helped us through a lot of the process from helping us shape our ideas to making introductions to his contacts in the industry. He has now been with us for over a year and a half, through the ups and downs of new partnerships and the formation of our new businesses. He is not only a great lawyer, he has also proved to be a valuable mentor throughout the start-up process. He totally “gets” the industry and is very easy to work with.
I was referred to David and Joseph about 3 years ago, and I have not looked back since. They have a great knowledge of the industry and they know how to get things done in NYC. They are hard working and diligent, but above all sincere. They really do care, and will listen to me when I address concerns and plans. Recently, I have been working with Kevin and he is a great addition to the firm. He is as professional and caring as David and Joseph, and equally as knowledgeable in the field.
From contract negotiations to health department tribunals, Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue have effectively offered my company a full spectrum of legal services, specific to my restaurants needs. These services are provided all under one roof, making them a part of everything I do. I would not work with anyone else.
When I see on my calendar that it is a day that I’ll have a meeting with Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue, LLP it always puts a smile on my face. After each meeting I leave inspired and willing to do more & more, feeling sure that they will support and encourage all my choices, while protecting my business and myself. I always find our conversations pleasant and constructive, and it’s always a good occasion to chat and receive insight on what’s going on in the industry, the market, current trends, and opportunities. This team is naturally kind, and equipped with the knowledge and sensitivity of taste for the good and profitable. They are always sincerely involved in your business, and careful with any choice involving a monetary investment, and are capable of developing your business according to functional rules and the best options. The market of NY requires attention, dynamism, preparation, wisdom, talent, insight and expertise and this is what they will immediately offer, with enthusiasm and charisma. From the first moment, you hear the sincere interest and desire to generate business with relevance and experience. I’ve known David since our start, day 0, now we have 4 successful locations and a fifth one on its way and have never been advised inadequately or hastily. The approach is brilliant, unique and encouraging—objective and relevant advice for start-ups, from people who, like us, love and know the business. Basically, anything I need, I just call.
Opening a new business can be very stressful, but dealing with the various state agencies can be downright dreadful. Anyone who is working towards a new venture into the restaurant business knows just how important having the right people on your side can be when dealing with State Liquor Authority. Your liquor license is one of the key aspects to providing a full service bar and restaurant to your customers, and without it your chances of success are slim to none. When we came across Helbraun and Levey, we were incredibly inundated with the demands of the Department of Buildings, and the construction on our building. Without Joseph Levey we would have never been able to navigate the SLA, and complete the process required in order to be awarded a liquor license for our place of business. What you don’t realize is that the SLA requires an enormous amount of personal and professional information about you,your background and your intentions for your anticipated bar/restaurant. You have to deal with someone that you can trust, but that also knows the SLA in and out. That person is Joseph Levey. We had so many problems with other city and state agencies, that slowed down our ability to meet our SLA deadlines, and required us to request extensions and waivers, etc. Levey walked us through the whole process, and with extreme care and attention to the amount of duress the whole experience was having on us and our business. Joseph Levey is a consummate professional. He knows the SLA in and out, but also knows and understands people; particularly those people who are putting their life savings into starting a new business while dealing with the DOB and nasty neighbors. He is a great lawyer and a terrific listener, and will help you get from point A to point B with your best interest at heart at all times.
Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue represent me on multiple fronts: SLA litigation, corporate stock transfers, partnership agreements as well as general consultation. Unlike other lawyers in this same industry, they are accessible, courteous, and thoroughly knowledgable. They understand my objectives and develop strategies to meet my goals, working around new legislation and short time frames. My only regret is that I did not use their practice to secure any of my liquor licenses or negotiate any leases. I wish I had. To anyone in the industry seeking representation, I wouldn’t bother calling anyone else.
These guys are the real motherf***ing Esquires. In my short time knowing David, Joseph, and Kevin, their industry-specific legal knowledge has been invaluable to my company and its swift growth. The three make a dynamic legal trio, and we feel extremely comfortable having them as a part of our extended team. Their passion for food and hospitality is second only to their passion to protect and serve their clients. They take a strong interest in our work, and are constantly on site with us to see and taste what’s new. It’s their straightforward honesty that I value the most. I simply couldn’t imagine using anyone else.
I met David Helbraun years ago when I first ventured out on my own as an entrepreneur and I’ve been with him since. In my line of work you deal with lots of contractors – the team at Helbraun Levey O’Donogue have always made sure that all our deals were solid and that we were protected whenever we had to get out of one. Their down-to-earth, real-world experience having owned and managed small businesses themselves has been an invaluable resource to me.
Helbraun & Levey have been there from the day that I opened the doors to 5 in 1, a Brooklyn based Creative Collective specializing in both retail and professional service. He not only has helped negotiate our commercial lease, but has designed and tailored individual 5 in 1 member contracts, Client contracts, and helped advise on liens and litigation concerns. David and Joseph are invaluable to the day to day concerns of our business.
David Hebraun and his firm helped my wife and I in the purchase of a small glass and mirror business and the formation of an LLC to hold the business assets. His experience with small businesses allowed us to proceed through closing with great efficiency and maintain harmonious relations with the seller and his wife while we negotiated the details of a trust based contract. We expect to use David’s firm as our business develops in the future.
Diligence, Professionalism, and fortitude are all characteristic I searched for when attempting to identify the law firm that was going to represent me in my professional capacity as a caterer and event planner in the Tri State area. I have experienced all of these attributes plus so much more In the three years that I have been fortunate enough to be represented by Joseph Levey of Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue. In addition to being a fantastic fundamental lawyer, Joseph has a wealth of knowledge which lends him a great deal of creativity and vision. It is this creative vision that affords him the ability to step outside the box when maneuvering seamlessly through what at the times seem to be impossible situations. On a personal note, for me it is important to think of those protecting my interest as friends, people I can rely on not matter what. These relationships are few and far between, but one that has certainly flourished between Joseph, myself, and multiple officers of my company. I thank Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue for all the hard work and personal dedication they have put forth in representing both my company as well as my proverbial “family” . Thank you again……
While in the start up mode, David was helpful in drafting the necessary documents and was always there to answer the legal questions we needed to know in order to get ready for full potential for success. I would recommend him to any and all start up businesses/entrepreneurs looking to take that next step into their respective markets.
Helbraun & Levey combine intelligence and insight with excellent interpersonal skills. They are very honest and very fair. We are very happy to have then as our lawyers