They may have mob ties and a history of tax evasion, but the Ciprianis have been allowed to hold onto their liquor license after the omnipotent State Liquor Authority accepted a settlement offer from the family, who operate luxurious restaurants and catering halls in Manhattan. One of Cipriani's owners, Arrigo Cipriani, previously pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion charges, and state law prohibits convicted felons from obtaining liquor licenses.
A minor technicality! Yesterday the SLA voted 2 to 1 to accept half a million dollars from Ciprianis, with two board members overruling the Authority’s chairman, Daniel B. Boyle, who had been threatening to revoke the license and deprive the city’s elite of $20 Bellini cocktails and other extravagant social lubricants. The decision came on the same day that the Post published a desperate plea for mercy from columnist Steve Cuozzo, who worried that Cipriani would close immediately without a liquor license, costing “over 1,000 jobs.”
Indeed, the two majority voters on the SLA expressed concern about the potential job loss if the restaurants and catering halls were closed, according to the Times. Moving forward, the Ciprianis are now pressing the city to designate the Rainbow Room as a landmark; they’re filing the formal request today and claiming that Tishman Speyer, the landlord of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, wants to turn the famed nightclub into offices. A spokesman for Tishman Speyer tells the Times that’s not true, but an unnamed Cipriani executive insists the landlord has been disgusted by the “shabby state” of the Rainbow Room since the Ciprianis took over.