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The Raines law was passed on March 23, 1896, by the New York State Legislature. It was nominally a liquor tax, but its intention was to curb the consumption of alcohol by imposing regulations.

Among other provisions, it prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday except in hotels. Most men worked a six-day week, and Sunday was the only full day for drinking at saloons. Under the law, however, hotels were allowed to serve liquor on Sunday, to guests only, if it was served during a meal or in the bedrooms of the hotel.[1] State statutes allowed that any business was considered a hotel if it had 10 rooms for lodging and served sandwiches with its liquor. Saloons quickly found a loophole by adding small furnished bedrooms and applying for a hotel license. Dozens of "Raines law hotels," often located directly above saloons,[2] opened.

As a contemporary source put it, "This offered a premium on the transformation of saloons into hotels with bedrooms and led to unlooked-for evils"[3] (an increase in prostitution), as the rooms in many "Raines law hotels" were used mostly by prostitutes and unmarried couples. (In some cases these rooms may not even have been available at all; in a 1917 novel, the protagonist sees "a Raines Law hotel with awnings, indicating that it was not merely a blind to give a saloon a hotel license but was actually open for business."[4])

Jacob Riis wrote in 1902 of saloon keepers who mocked the law by setting out "brick sandwiches," two pieces of bread with a brick in between, thus fulfilling the legal requirement of serving food. He also writes of altercation in a saloon where a customer attempted to eat a sandwich that the bartender had served just for show; "the police restored the sandwich to the bartender and made no arrests."[5]

Such a shabby bar serves as the 1912 setting of the classic play The Iceman Cometh, by Eugene O'Neill.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reprising Our Niederstein’s Story, Now That It Is A Thing Of The Past". The Times Newsweekly (Ridgewood, NY). 2005-02-10. Archived from the original on 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2006-11-20. 
  2. ^ Richardson, Dorothy (1905). The Long Day: The Story of a New York Working Girl. The Century Company. , p. 33, "I made my first inventory of that block of Fourteenth Street where I lived. On each corner stood a gaudy saloon, surmounted by a Raines law hotel."
  3. ^ Smith, Ray Burdick (1922). Political and Governmental History of the State of New York. Syracuse Press. p. 25
  4. ^ Phillip, David Graham (1917). Susan Lenox: Her Fall And Rise. New York: D. Appleton And Co. , Project Gutenberg eText #450
  5. ^ Riis, Jacob A. (1902). The Battle with the Slum. Macmillan. , p. 224

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raines_law — Please support Wikipedia.
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172 news items

Gothamist

Gothamist
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:05:53 -0700

Dimly lit cocktail den Raines Law Room expands their speakeasy-style offerings today, opening their second location inside The William hotel on East 39th Street. The Victorian living room motif continues at the new space, which boasts two rooms for ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Wed, 13 May 2015 16:49:15 -0700

Meaghan Dorman, head bartender since 2009 at Raines Law Room, launched a Raines sister bar at the William Hotel last year, within five months of opening another watering hole, Dear Irving. She and her partners are in the process of launching a new bar ...
 
Eater
Wed, 06 May 2015 11:44:43 -0700

In 1862, Jerry Thomas famously published the first bartender's guide. Sailor, Forty-Niner, artist, theatrical impresario, diamond-flashing sport-about-town—indeed, sport-about-America—and, of course, master mixologist, "the Professor," as he is known ...
 
Village Voice (blog)
Fri, 03 Oct 2014 09:07:30 -0700

Before the 18th Amendment was ratified, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the United States, other measures limited where alcohol could be consumed, including the Raines Law, which stipulated that boozing be confined to hotels. Nearly ...
 
Eater
Tue, 05 May 2015 07:21:20 -0700

Old Fashioned photos clockwise from top left: Hard Water (SF) by Ed Anderson, Southern Efficiency (D.C.) by Scott Suchman, and The Raines Law Room (NY) by Nick Solares. Back at Old Town, Fitz's Old Fashioned quickly melts into oblivion, the muddled ...

MediaPost Communications

MediaPost Communications
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 05:08:15 -0700

Destinations included Yonah Schimlel's bakery; Cacao Prieto, a chocolate and spirits place with an on site distillery and The Raines Law Room, a prohibition-era speakeasy. “The theme is going to places they haven't experienced and capturing it through ...

The Epoch Times

The Epoch Times
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:49:59 -0700

Raines Law Room has opened a second location at The William in Midtown East. The new outpost from Yves Jadot and Alberto Benenati will reflect the elegant design of the original location in Chelsea, inspired by the opulent European homes of the 19th ...

Village Voice (blog)

Village Voice (blog)
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 08:02:52 -0700

In this interview, Raines Law Room (48 West 17th Street) head bartender Meaghan Dorman chats about her fondness for rich flavor profiles, Champagne cocktails, and Campari. How do you handle dealer's choice requests? There are a lot of different ...
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