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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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4 news items

Suffolk News-Herald

Suffolk News-Herald
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:11:15 -0700

Richard Brian Campbell has joined the Ferguson Rawls & Raines law firm in Suffolk as its newest associate. As an airman in the United States Air Force, he deployed to Afghanistan and later served in the Virginia Air National Guard. Campbell. Campbell ...

NOLA Defender

NOLA Defender
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:00:00 -0700

... York's Milk and Honey and Lantern's Keep, and Meghan Dorman of New York's Dear Irving and Raines Law Room take turns demonstrating their approach to a guest (played by a member of the audience) who invites the bartender to select his next libation.

Out Magazine

Out Magazine
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:03:45 -0700

Meanwhile, Meaghan Dorman, head mixologist at the Raines Law Room, concocts very ambitious bubbling brews. “Champagne cocktails fit the mood for summer,” she says, “and they're great with fresh summer fruit muddled in.” Dorman adds cognac to the ...
 
Ad-Hoc-News (Pressemitteilung)
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Grace Gaelic Hospitality opened last September, offering a menu of drinks devised by a posse of illustrious women bartenders known for their work at places like Raines Law Room, Clover Club, Death & Co., and a number of other great bars, but apparently ...
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