it's a little more tricky that that. well in NJ it is.......
I'm not a professional chef, but have had bars in my family for years....some places you just simply can't "get" a liquor license...for instance, some towns only issue a certain number of them and make any more VERY difficult to get. Whereas in South Amboy, NJ....I think the post office has a liquor license. Same goes for gas stations...I think it's plainsboro, nj (or certainly near it) doesn't even have a gas station.
I remember working in a quickie mart my first job, and the owner was trying to get a license to sell liquor and couldn't because the club across the street served liquor. The club wasn't even open, hasn't been for 10 years, but they kept the license, almost as an "investment"
Personally, in NJ, for true foodies, unless you are going all out with an extensive wine list, sommelier, etc. such as say...Nicolas in Red Bank, then us NJ foodies would rather a BYOB.
Most people get their licenses (in NJ) by simply purchasing someone else's from a past restaurant space/place.
Unless you have friends in High Places (or very low ones)