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Need Ideas for BYOB Restaurants

Shana Lyons Mar 7, 2005 03:18 PM


Last weekend, a large group of friends went to Il Fiorentino in Woburn. The food was great and the atmosphere was a bit nuts. We chose it because it was BYOB, though. We were all able to bring some wines we had been wanting to try.

Is there anywhere that you know of that's T accessable that's also BYOB? We're willing to pay corkage fees.

Any info would be very appreciated.

  1. &
    "Al Fresco" Mar 7, 2005 04:12 PM

    Tsunami in Coolidge Corner offers excellent sushi and BYOB.

    3 Replies
    1. re: "Al Fresco"
      APB Mar 7, 2005 06:09 PM

      FWIW last time I walked by there Tsunami had a big orange sticker in the window saying "Seized by MASS DOR"

      1. re: APB
        Shana Lyons Mar 8, 2005 09:27 PM

        Thank you so much for the responses. .


      2. re: "Al Fresco"
        APB Mar 7, 2005 06:12 PM

        FWIW last time I walked by there Tsunami had a big orange sticker in the window saying "Seized by MASS DOR"

      3. n
        nomadfromcincy Mar 7, 2005 08:12 PM

        I've posted the same request in the past without much luck. There aren't really any official options because BYOB isn't legal in Boston (my understanding - feel free to correct me). My recommendation is that you call around to your favorite restaurants or become a regular somewhere... then talk to the chef directly.

        6 Replies
        1. re: nomadfromcincy
          Anonymous Mar 7, 2005 09:29 PM

          BYOB rules seem differ by town in this state.

          Some "dry" towns seem to allow beer/wine sales in restaurants (no package stores allowed - Needham?) while other "dry" towns do not allow the sale of any alcohol (restaurants or package stores, Arlington?). In the true dry towns, it seems that most restaurants allow BYOB and more importantly, the city allows BYOB.

          If the town is not dry (Boston), I believe only establishments that are awaiting approval of their license may officially allow BYOB. Otherwise if a liquor license is in place (or was denied), alcohol is not supposed to be brought onto the premises by restaurant guests.

          Some places without liquor licenses (ie in Somerville) will allow discrete consumption of alcholic beverages but it is quite possible that the patrons are violating the law. This can get the restaurant in some serious trouble most likely (hence the reason few people rat out their favorite BYOB places on chowhound for fear of repercussions by local authorities).

          Some of these thoughts above may well be incorrect. Please feel free to point out any fallacies.

          Good luck in your search.

          1. re: Anonymous
            weathermasta Mar 8, 2005 05:44 PM

            Actually, Arlington is considered a dry town, but meaning only that there are no bars or liquor stores. Restaurants can have alcohol served in the dining room, as well as have bars attached - but you must order food if you wish to order alcohol.

            I think most Mass dry towns are like this, with the exception of Rockport. Correct me if I'm wrong.

            1. re: weathermasta
              The_Bayou Sep 13, 2006 06:00 PM

              Massachusett's dry town are more commonly becoming like Arlington, no bars or liquor stores, but restaurants can serve. 4 of the 6 towns on Martha's Vineyard (I know, more New England that Greater Boston) are completely dry and allow BYOB with corkage fees.

              1. re: weathermasta
                eLizard Feb 13, 2007 05:24 AM

                Rockport is no longer dry dry. Restaurants can serve now. But correct me if i'm wrong.

            2. re: nomadfromcincy
              prissl Mar 8, 2005 09:47 AM

              Bellino's in Wakefield is very good Italian. It is BYOB with a cork-fee.

              1. re: nomadfromcincy
                Linda Mar 10, 2005 12:53 PM

                Diparma's in Winthrop is great, bYob, casual atmosphere, rustic italian food run by brazilians!

              2. k
                kenb Mar 8, 2005 11:37 AM

                Il Ducalli in No. Woburn is BYOB. No corkage fee.

                Red sauce Italian. It's located where Il Fiorentino used to be before they moved to Woburn center. It's across from the Main St Diner. Not really T accessible though, unless there's a bus that goes out that far.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kenb
                  secretlyironic Sep 13, 2006 06:20 PM

                  Zagat has a rundown on BYO laws: BYO is not permitted in the City of Boston; in the burbs it is generally permitted in places that do not have liquor licenses.

                  Try Yoshi's sushi on College Ave in Somerville-- a pretty relaxed place. Not really a destination but it's a nice place and they should let you bring your own.

                2. p
                  phoebek Sep 13, 2006 06:42 PM

                  BYOB isn't legal in Somerville. There used to be a great little restaurant in the place where Tu Y Yo is now that allowed folks to bring their own wine, and they were shut down. . .

                  1. heathermb Sep 13, 2006 07:05 PM

                    Once upon a time I remember being at Olives in Charlestown and the couple next to us brought their own wine and paid a corkage fee. Not sure if that is still an option.

                    1. m
                      michela Sep 14, 2006 02:54 PM

                      A drive well worth the trip

                      The Causeway in Gloucester - BYOB

                      1. n
                        norma.jeanne Feb 12, 2007 09:49 AM

                        I don't quite understand the BYOB laws. We went to Terramia in the North End just last night and brought two bottles of wine, and paid $20 each for the corking fee, even though they have a pretty extensive wine list. I just happened to see it was an option on their website, and i was surprised by it. I thought in Boston it was illegal if they had a liquor license. So, who knows? I guess it doesn't hurt to ask any restaurant before you go.

                        1. d
                          debbar Feb 13, 2007 04:49 AM

                          BYOB: Il Forno in Westborough; Sweet Basil's in Needham.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: debbar
                            eastiefoodie Feb 13, 2007 06:36 AM

                            Second the vote for Sweet Basil in Needham. Excellent food, and you can take the commuter rail there - short walk from the stop. Cannot remember what stop it is.

                          2. eLizard Feb 13, 2007 05:24 AM

                            I've seen people BYOing at King Fung.

                            1. g
                              ginnyhw Feb 13, 2007 08:18 AM

                              a well kept secret but true, Aquataine Bis in Chestnut Hill on Rte. 9.

                              1. j
                                jpsox Feb 13, 2007 05:55 PM

                                I just walked by the semi-newish Bon Savour in Jamaica Plain and there definitely open wine bottles on some of the tables, while I don't think they've gotten a beer/wine license yet. I haven't been there for dinner yet, but I did go for breakfast once and wasn't too impressed. Weird breakfast selection.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jpsox
                                  teezeetoo Sep 19, 2007 04:23 PM

                                  we've brought our own wine to anakha rasa on harvard street and to basta pasta in cambridge. no one told us not to! now i hope i didn't cause any trouble for the owners.

                                  1. re: teezeetoo
                                    bear Sep 19, 2007 04:41 PM

                                    We frequently byob at Basta. No problem. The local cops, who dine there regularly, even helped a cute young women open her stubborn bottle.

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