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Corkage in Boston?

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Coming from SF Bay area to Boston this weekend. We are accustomed to bringing our own wine to dinner at even really great restaurants. Is this a common practice in Boston?

Thanks, Royleen

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  1. No, we have some arcane liquor laws here. It's not common, and I'm not sure it's allowed at all.

    But enjoy your visit :).

    1. Call the restaurant and ask. Unlike SF, where every menu lists the corkage fee, nobody here advertises it. That being said, a lot of places will let you bring in a bottle if you ask. Be prepared for highher corkage than you are used to, though. And be prepared to hear "no" a lot.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JBM

        I would disagree with the assertion that "a lot of places will let you bring in a bottle if you ask". Unless they do not already have a liquor license, virtually all places in MA will say NO.

        The only exception is one place right next to where I live where I am an ultra regular. They still do not like it, as it is illegal and obviously takes down their gross.

        1. re: Dappi

          That's interesting. I think I've only been turned down once when I call ahead, ask to speak to the wine director and make the request. Though, to be fair, I do not do this with regularity.

          Regardless, your point about the illegality and impact on their bottom line is spot on.

          1. re: JBM

            Hopefully when Chowhound moves to the new board there will be a Private Message function. I would love to chat with you and get a list of where you have had success, as I would love to be able to take my own wines to more dinners. Unfortunately posting a list here would get the establishments inundated and likely make is so you could not get corkage there any more as well. Until then, enjoy!

      2. Sorry Royleen,
        MA state law atates that if an establishment has a liquor or beer and wine license, it is unlawfukl for a patron to bring their own. Until recently, if you didn't finish a bottle, you weren't allowed to bring it home. I've broken both laws.
        Some restuarants that don't have enough seating for a license allow byob. Most in the surrounding suburbs. Do call ahead.