Client Testimonials

Helbraun Levey Client Missy Robbins & Sean Feeney, Lilia, Misi, NYC

We view the firm Helbraun Levey as critical partners. The firm adheres to a core set of values allowing them to accomplish their clear mission. We are grateful for Helbraun Levey for many reasons, most of all they help us keep it simple.

MISSY ROBBINS AND SEAN FEENEY, OWNERS Lilia, Misi, Fini, Misi Pasta

As a restaurant group, service is at the core of our business and the most important value we add to each and every guest that walks through our doors. When we work with an outside partner, it is imperative that they share our same set of principles, and we have found that Helbraun Levey also leads with a hospitality first approach. They are best in class, and have been an incredible team to work with every step of the way.

SAM BAKHSHANDEHPOUR, PRESIDENT AND BOARD MEMBER Jose Andres Group

Becoming a serviceable chef means committing years and years of training to a singular task, largely ignoring other aspects of your life and abandoning hope of becoming a well-rounded human being. Thus, when you have finally become a serviceable chef and decide you are also committing to the insanity that is opening a restaurant, you are woefully unprepared to navigate the bureaucratic calamity that is New York City. Helbraun & Levey are the convoy to which you can hitch your wagon. They are the hospitable spirit guides, the torch in the darkness, the beacon in the storm. We appreciate the hell out of you and look forward to growing together so that one day I might be able to get some sleep and address my childhood trauma instead of aggressively avoiding it via vocational cooking.

ERIC HUANG, CHEF/OWNER Pecking House
Helbraun & Levey Client Jody Williams, Buvette,Via Carota

Our legal sherpas, Helbraun Levey know the business and seem to love the business as much as we do. We have been fortunate to work with David and Joseph for over a decade. Indispensable.

JODY WILLIAMS, CHEF/OWNER Buvette, Via Carota, Commerce, Bar Pisellino
Riad Nasr Lee Hanson Frenchette

We are happy and lucky to work with Joseph and the whole team at Helbraun and Levey. Their experience, knowledge, responsiveness and understanding were critical in making Frenchette a reality. We look forward to working with them again and again in the future.

RIAD NASR AND LEE HANSON, CHEF/OWNERS Frenchette, Le Rock
Helbraun & Levey Client Andrew Tarlow, Marlow & Sons, Diner, Achille's Heel, Roman's

It’s simple. Helbraun Levey are the best.

ANDREW TARLOW, OWNER Marlow & Sons, Diner, Roman's, Achille's Heel
Helbraun & Levey Client John Fraser, The Loyal, Nix

In the way that our restaurants have the goal to not only satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst but to provide the experience in a sophisticated way, Helbraun Levey care not only about the outcome but the experience as well. I highly recommend them for all of the legal needs of your restaurant.

JOHN FRASER, CHEF/OWNER Iris, North Fork Table, La Marchange, Edition Hotels
Greg Baxtrom Olmsted

Helbraun Levey has the big firm resources & professionalism with the small firm attention to detail & personal touch.  I would not work with anyone else.

GREG BAXTROM, CHEF/OWNER Olmstead, Maison Yaki, Patti Ann’s, Five Acres
Petee's Pie Company Logo

One of the first things you should do if you’re looking to start a restaurant or food business in NYC is hire David. Things could have easily gone very wrong for us at the start had we not done so and we consider it one of the best investments we made in the early stages of our business. Also, if you’re looking for legal services as an established business there is no need to look further than Helbraun Levey.

PETRA & ROBERT PAREDEZ, OWNERS Petee’s Pie Company
Helbraun & Levey Client Ann Redding & Matt Danzer, Uncle Boon's

We had been through several lawyers before we found Helbraun Levey. 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.

ANN REDDING & MATT DANZER, OWNERS Thai Diner
Catch Hospitality Group Logo

These guys are the best. Really. We’ve worked with many lawyers and we find Helbraun Levey 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.

MARK BIRNBAUM AND EUGENE REMM, OWNERS Catch Hospitality Group
Giles Russell Henry Roberts Two Hands

We turned to HL when our company was going through an incredible amount of changes. It felt right to have everything ‘legal’ taken care of under one roof. David and Joseph have created a great team and a fantastic culture that makes the somewhat tedious legal process enjoyable.

HENRY ROBERTS AND GILES RUSSELL, OWNERS Two Hands Hospitality Group

Joseph is a problem solver. We and our tenants rely him on not just for the mechanics of obtaining a liquor license, but more importantly for strategic counsel about how to anticipate and overcome potential obstacles. With Joseph there is seemingly always a way to get to “yes”.

MARC RICKS, SVP DEVELOPMENT Vornado Realty
Roberta's Pizza Logo

We like Helbraun Levey so much that sometimes we forget that they are lawyers. They are diligent, honest and don’t forget stylish. Helbraun Levey can make hell feel like 70 degrees.

BRANDON HOY AND CARLO MIRARCHI, OWNERS Roberta's Pizza, Blanca Brooklyn, NY
Helbraun & Levey Client Gabe Stulman, Fairfax, 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 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.

GABE STULMAN, OWNER Fairfax, Fedora, Joseph Leonard, Jeffrey’s
Hogsalt Logo

I view Helbraun Levey as indispensable members of our growth strategy and company support structure. They are the first call I make when exploring a new project in NYC.

BRENDAN SODIKOFF, OWNER 4 CHARLES PRIME RIB (NYC), HOGSALT (Chicago)
Sara Conklin Glasserie

David and his team have supported us in all areas — from Glasserie’s inception and currently, as we continually grow the business. I highly recommend them.

SARA CONKLIN, OWNER Glasserie
Helbraun Levey Client Brent Young & Ben Turley, The Meathook, Rippers, NYC

In our first three years of business, we had been through three lawyers, and three accountants, each making a worse mess than the previous. Finding Helbraun Levey was a godsend. Finally we had lawyers that could talk to us like normal human beings, and give us rational advice, 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.

BRENT YOUNG, OWNERS The Meathook, Cozy Royale
Helbraun Levey Client Oliver & Leo Kremer, Dos Toros Taqueria, NYC

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.

OLIVER AND LEO KREMER, OWNERS Dos Toros Taqueria
Ootoya Logo

Ootoya has over 430 restaurants worldwide and the first Ootoya in the United States was established with the help of Helbraun Levey. We now have 5 restaurants in NYC and have already passed 6 years with Helbraun & Levey. We could not run without Helbraun’s advice and support. We are so lucky to have their oversight and look forward to continuing going forward with them.

TOMONORI TAKADA, PRESIDENT OF AMERICA OOTOYA INC. Ootoya
Helbraun Levey Client Doug Crowell, Buttermilk Channel, French Louie, NYC

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 and Joseph 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 highly recommend them to any restaurant or small business owner.

DOUG CROWELL, OWNER Buttermilk Channel, French Louie
Mohan Kumar Oddfellows

With any major decision I make, my initial reaction is to call Helbraun Levey. They have been a tremendous help to me in dealing with investors, operating agreements, lease negotiation, and even providing insight on the day to day.

MOHAN KUMAR, OWNER Oddfellow’s Ice Cream
Helbraun Levey Client Jonathan Schnapp, Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, NYC

Joseph and David 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 shudder 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.

JONATHAN SCHNAPP, OWNER Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
Bohemian New York Logo

They’re absolutely the best! We’re a tiny restaurant, but they don’t treat us like the little guys despite having a star-studded client roster. Everyone in the firm is always on-point, and the attention I receive for even the most pitiful layman’s question I throw their way makes my heart sing. And plus, David and Joseph are genuinely fantastic people who are a pleasure to be in the company of.

LISA TOBARI, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Bohemian Restaurant
Helbraun Levey Client TJ Lynch, Mother's Ruin, Loverboy Pizza, NYC

Helbraun Levey has been essential to the success of our two venues. In our opinion, there are none better in this field. We happily refer clients to them as often as possible.

T.J. LYNCH, OWNER Mother's Ruin, Loverboy Pizza
Ward III Logo

It’s a rare day when you can consider your lawyers your friends. But, over the last 5 years, Helbraun Levey has become just that. They care about our business and have guided us through both exciting and painful growth—all the while providing us with sound and practical advice that displays a deep understanding of our industry and our company. We wouldn’t trust our business to any other firm and tell everyone that will listen the same. They are the best.

RYAN BURKE, RUM HOUSE Ward III
Nick Padilla Alameda

My experience working with Helbraun Levey has been exceptionally positive. David’s ability to explain any situation in an uncomplicated way and guide his client to its resolution has made it much easier for me to focus on running my restaurant. The team at Helbraun Levey have tons of experience helping people in this business, and their love of the industry is apparent in the care they give each client, whether they’re michelin starred or, as in my case, a neighborhood spot.

NICK PADILLA, CHEF/OWNER Il Pinguino
Helbraun Levey hospitality law

I asked an acquaintance for their best piece of advice for my growing company, and they recommended that I get in touch with David. I can honestly say it was a game changer, and I only wish I had known about Helbraun and Levey in the planning stages of Redcrest. Having a team that understands the hospitality industry so well has been invaluable. They’ve also been a guiding light as we try to navigate the landscape that has been created by COVID-19. Overall, I’d recommend them for anyone in this business.

ADAM VOLK, FOUNDER/CHEF Redcrest Fried Chicken
Micha Magid Mighty Quinn's Barbeque

Helbraun Levey has had our back since we opened our first location in 2012. Every year the city has increased the web of complexities that operators must navigate to be successful. Helbraun Levey brings the skills and knowledge base to tackle these challenges. Beyond that, they are also a great group of people who care tremendously about their clients.

MICHA MAGID, CO-FOUNDER & CO-CEO Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque

The best tonic for a good night’s sleep after a stressful day in the world of hospitality is a conversation with Lee Jacobs. Lee and his employment team are pros that I would trust to provide counsel for any issue.

GEORGE DRALLIOS, OWNER/FOUNDER Peperino

We work with Helbraun Levey because their collective experience and knowledge of the industry makes them the go-to place for any restaurant. Lee, David, Joseph, and the rest of the team have all been so helpful in assisting and resolving a variety of issues that have come along in this dynamic industry over the many years we have worked with them!

LINDA MARINI, CO-OWNER Da Claudio
Helbraun Levey Client Erin Patinkin, Ovenly, NYC

After several unsatisfactory experiences with different lawyers, some friends of ours recommended Helbraun Levey to us. Not only are they great lawyers, they are also honest advisors. They are helpful, kind, and willing to provide their expertise to help their clients thrive.

ERIN PATINKIN, OWNER Ovenly
Shake Shack Logo

The Helbraun Levey team have been pivotal in Shake Shack’s growth in NY over the past 2 years, by helping us secure beer/wine licenses at many different locations, always anticipating needs and keeping up with pace. We love working with them.

ANDREW CROMER, ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL SHAKE SHACK

Growing a business from a start-up to a medium size enterprise is, at best, challenging. Throughout this process, Helbraun Levey’s legal advice and expert guidance has been invaluable. They are professional, friendly and timely. We love working with them and regard them as trusted members of our advisory team.

KATE ARDING AND MONA TALBOTT, OWNERS Talbott & Arding