The logistical hurdles are intense
Serving alcohol isn't as easy as ordering some beer and some cups -- it can be a real logistical nightmare for restaurants. "Due to laws that came on the heels of prohibition, Blue Laws, and that sort of thing, liquor regulations are incredibly complicated," said restaurant consultant Clarke Wolf. "Not only do the specifics vary from state-to-state, but they can change from county-to-county, even town-to-town. Getting a liquor license is not easy or cheap."
Wolf notes that in places like California's popular wine region, Sonoma County, liquor licenses can go for upward of $250,000 for just the initial fee, while two-year liquor licenses in New York City can cost nearly $75,000.