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Jul 21, 2006 05:37 PM

BYOB laws

I posted about this on the midwest board and I think it got deleted. I am wondering what the law is about bringing booze to restaurants which do not have a liquor license, specifically in the Twin Cities, and also in NYC.

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  1. My *impression* is that a liquor license is generally a license to sell liquor/wine/beer/etc, and the law doesn't restrict bringing your own. Now, that may be different in different areas. But from my experience in various cities, you can always bring your own if the restaurant allows it. I stress that there may be different laws in different places, and I don't know anything about the Twin Cities' laws specifically.

    Having said that, I always call the restaurant ahead of time before bringing my own, for three reasons: (1) some places simply don't let you bring your own, (2) I want to know the corkage fee ahead of time, and (3) I want to know if I need to bring my own glasses (a number of high end restaurants in Chicago, for example, are BYO and do not have wine glasses).

    1. I was informed that the law here says that if the restaurant does not have a liquor license you cannot bring your own. That is what I am really curious about; I have never had the inclination to bring my own to a place that already serves liquor.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AliceS

        That could very well be the case in the Twin Cities. I think liquor laws tend to vary a lot throughout the country. I would just call one or two restaurants that you know don't serve liquor and ask them.

      2. What is up with the deletion thing here? This is valuable info.

        Without disputing the Chowhound moderators' right to delete whatever whenever, is there any chance they could add a note about what is needed to answer the OP's question without having it be wiped out again?

        1 Reply
        1. re: KTFoley

          Oops, sorry, I thought I was still looking at the same thread from the Midwest board, which does now have a moderator comment after several deletions in a row.

          As Emily Litella would say, "Neverrr minnnd."

        2. Alice,

          You can take a look at the MN laws here:

          The one that jumps out at me is the following:

          No business establishment or club which does not hold an on-sale intoxicating liquor license may directly or indirectly allow the consumption and display of alcoholic beverages or knowingly serve any liquid for the purpose of mixing with intoxicating liquor without first having obtained a permit from the commissioner.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MSPD

            Just the opposite in Arizona. You may bring alcoholic bevs into a place with no liquor license - if the establishment allows it. But once they have a liquor license, you have to drink their stuff. Weird, ain't it?


          2. Thanks, that is just what I was looking for. Interesting, I wonder if it is true in NYC too, where it seems to be ubiquitous; my childhood is filled with memories of bringing beer to restaurants in chinatown that did not have liquor licenses.

            1 Reply
            1. re: AliceS

              You really do have to check local or state ordinances. I know that here in LA County it's common practice to bring your own to places that don't have a license, or are waiting for one, but I've read that this is in fact prohibited, though hardly anyone seems to know that.

              There used to be a very nice Italian restaurant just outside of Cave City, Kentucky, which is in a dry county. They quite openly encouraged people to bring their own wine, and charged no corkage.