Gabe Stulman, Owner, Perla, Fedora, Joseph Leonard & Jeffrey’s
"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."
Andrew Tarlow, Owner, Marlow & Sons, Diner, Reynard, Roman's
"It's simple. Helbraun Levey & O'Donoghue are the best."
John Fraser, Chef/Owner, Dovetail
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.
Brad McDonald, Chef/Owner, Governor, Colonie, Gran Electrica
"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."
Justin Gallaher, Owner, Vinegar Hill House
"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."
Doug Crowell, Owner, Buttermilk Channel
"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."
Matt Levine, Owner, Sons of Essex, Cocktail Bodega
Helbraun & Levey are the best in the business - extremely attentive, organized and responsible when it comes to all of my legal hospitality needs.
St. John Frizell, Owner, Fort Defiance
"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."
Amy Marks, Owner, Radish
"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."
Danny Mena, Chef/Owner, Hecho en Dumbo
"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."
Nick Morgenstern, Owner, Goat Town
"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."
Jehangir Mehta, Chef/Owner, Graffiti, Mehtaphor
"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."
Dana Lapan, Special Events Manager, Public
We cannot thank Kevin enough for his services; we are so glad that we’ve been connected to such a dedicated lawyer with such an outstanding firm that understands all of our needs. Kevin gathered the facts and handled our DOH hearing with no need for further explanation. Kevin and his team show an enormous amount of knowledge, guidance, skill, and friendliness to help understand the process. I would recommend him to anyone that needs anything within the industry.
Oliver and Leo Kremer, Owners, Dos Toros Taqueria
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.
Dean Jankelowitz, Owner, Jack's Wife Freda
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.
Rob Behnke Bowman, CEO and Co-Founder The Brooklyn Salsa Company
"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."
Ross Greenberg, Chef/Owner, Woodwork Wine Bar
"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."
Colin Barnhart, Owner, Arthur on Smith
“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.”
Karim el- Antably, Owner, Rocket Joe's Pizza
Helbraun Levey and O'Donoghue is a great team of attorneys to help with any of your needs, from closing a deal to getting your restaurant the grade it deserves. As a new business owner I needed help with the Department of Health. After my initial inspection and being closed due to licence issues and reopening to three more inspections, I needed help with all the inspection reports and getting the grade I deserved. I contacted the firm and asked David (who by the way did a great job closing my deal) if he had anyone who could help. He put me in touch with his partner Kevin. I sent him all the reports and pictures addressing the issues the DOH claimed to be violations. A few weeks later I received an email from Kevin saying " It's an "A" ". He made it very easy and quick for me to get through this. I will continue to use this fine team of attorneys in any of my business needs and highly recommend them to anyone who needs representation or is unhappy where they are now. Its well worth it. Thank you David, Kevin, Jeffery and everyone at Helbraun Levey and O'Donoghue.
Cornelius Gallagher, Chef/Owner, Dragonfly
"From the moment Helbraun Levey & O'Donoghue and I started working together, I felt like I was in good hands. The team is extremely capable and experienced. I wouldn’t use anyone else in the future"
Michael Waiser, Owner, Michael Scott Events
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……
Evan Tobias & Eric Pavony, Full Circle Bar, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
"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."
Al Martin, Owner, Broadway Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club
“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."
Sameer Qureshi, Honey, NYC
"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"
Jason Stevens, Rebar, Dumbo, Brooklyn
"Helbraun & Levey helped me in all facets of starting my business. I actually hired David to design and open my coffee shop in addition to his being my lawyer. He has lived the life and gets the details of the game. As far as I am concerned, if you are starting a new business, Helbraun & Levey are your guys"
Gary Grunner, VP Marketing and Sales Grapes on the Go, Inc.
“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”
Norman Rabinovich, Former Owner of Studio 5 in 1, now Co-Founder of Tio Agency
"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.
John Brady, Craftwork Mirror and Glass, Queens, NY
"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. "
Charles Carela, Cava Wine Bar, NYC
"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!"
Mira Friedlander, Owner, Little D Restaurant
"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."
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.
"David was invaluable to me in helping resolve a bad business partnership. He stuck with me through many court appearances and succeeded in selling the business after three other large corporate firms had tried and failed miserably. He restored my faith in attorneys and did it graciously and with the utmost competence. He is the only attorney I have met to date, who when he tells you he will get something done, truly delivers. He is a gem. I would never use anybody else. "
Mike Edwards, Raleigh Corp, Brooklyn, NY
"I wholeheartedly recommend the services David Helbraun and Joseph Levey. In my world, David Helbraun has been a calm voice of reason for several years. As a landlord in Brooklyn, I have had my share of frustrating days at the courthouse. I have worked with half a dozen legal firms and a blur of faces. Anyway, it is because of David’s steady state of reason why I am able to find any humor in any of this at all. David really kept my spirits up at times when I was just so tired of the New York legal system’s treatment of small landlords who are “blessed” with rent regulated apartments. He kept our goal in sight, followed up with our delinquent residents and resolved their accounts with a level of professionalism that no one could dispute. I was very impressed. And later when one of them not only decided to completely disregard the obligations set in her lease, but to actively seek out ways to destroy my property, David introduced me to his ‘closer’, Joseph Levey. Nothing shakes Joseph! He looked at the situation from several angles, did his research, anticipated responses and moved to head them off. He followed up, kept me informed and throughout the process, just like with David, I always felt he had my back. You just cannot ask for more than that."
Cathy Casey, i.e. Design Events Inc.
"People always think I'm nuts when I say I love my lawyers, but it's true. Helbraun & Levey has been the backbone to my company's success for three years. I rely on them for everything from navigating state and federal laws to advice on contract negotiation. They are energetic, organized and great people to work with!"
Eva Dayton, Owner, Butter by EvaGentry, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
"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."
Lynda McLaughlin, Owner, Lenny's Williamsburg Brooklyn
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.