Merchants NY Cigar Bar, a go-to smoker’s paradise on New York’s Upper East Side for the past decade, has triumphed in a prolonged legal battled with the New York City Health Department, according to operators at the cigar bar.
New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision that the New York City Health Department “arbitrarily and capriciously” denied the cigar bar a registration as a “tobacco bar.”
The Health Department had given 14 reasons the cigar bar should be denied registration, but the appellate court rejected every one of them and also said the Health Department’s move to shut down the business was unjustified.
“We are extremely pleased that the Court recognized what our clientele have known for over 10 years," said Abraham Merchant, a principal along with Andy Emmet and Richard Cohn. "Our guests can now relax and enjoy their cigars and favorite libations without fear that the Health Department will be issuing violations or trying to shut us down."