HOME > Chowhound > General Tristate Archive >


BYOB in Westchester?

Are there any? I know that comfort in Hasings is BYOB, but are there others?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ocean House in Croton is BYOB. But there is a $10 corkage fee, which, considering they do not have a beer or wine license, I think is kind of obnoxious. Also considering that given the location and atmosphere (and no reservation policy, which can make for long waits) it is kind of pricey, albeit for pretty good food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Marge

      I'm guessing that they're so small -- and not benefitting from the standard revenue streams from alcohol that most restuarants absolutely rely on -- that they feel that they need to eek out every nickle they can from wherever they can. It does feel unfair that you have to pay the restaurant for something that you already bought, when they're not offering any alternative. I wonder why such an aesthetically ambitious restaurant doesn't have a license?

    2. Conte's in Mount Kisco is also BYOB with a corkage fee for the first 2 bottles.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Missy Barks

        What would they do if I brought my own wine opener?

        A corkage fee. Amazing.

      2. indian in tarrytown on broadway. cafe tandoor?

        1. Corkcage, indeed! I suppose if they provide someone to open your bottle, give you wine glasses (and wash them when you're done), and chill your white wine, they ought to get something, but $10/per bottle? Wish my business had those kinds of markups for what is considered gracious service.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nancy C

            In addition to the costs that the restaurant bears (service/chilling/opening, providing/washing glasses), corkage fees help to discourage BYOBers. Restaurants routinely charge 300%-400% of their wholesale per-bottle wine cost, and they really rely on these charges because profit margins on food are small. If they didn't charge corkage, what's to stop everyone from just bringing their own, and eliminating that profit source? After all, you wouldn't bring your own food in, why should you bring your own wine?

            That being said, if a restaurant does NOT offer wine or beer, I think it's a little unfair to charge corkage.

          2. Corkage fees are designed to offset lost revenue. Generally the average markup on the lower end of the Wine List $18 to $25. More in higher end restaurants ($65 at Per Se). I don't mind it, actually it is kind of cool that restaurants allow people to bring their own wine. What if people brought their own food??? However, if they don't serve wine, charging corkage is just plain crazy!

            1 Reply
              1. I wouldn't dream of bringing my own wine to a restaurant that serves wine. The issue was Ocean House in Croton, which is a BYOB restaurant, and charges a $10. corkage fee, which I think is outrageous.

                Am I reading correctly? Do restaurants that serve wine charge a corkage fee to someone who walks in with a bottle? Who would even think of bringing a bottle of wine to such a restaurant?

                1 Reply
                1. re: dolores

                  To be honest, I think lots of people do. I have two fanatical wine collector friends who often bring special bottles to the restaurant--but they're particularly well heeled and probably don't notice/mind corkage fees. They bring extraordinary small vintages, bottles made on your birthday, really fancy/special wines--they're known for it. In fact, they often share a glass with the restaurant's sommelier, to "turn him/her on" to the oddball maker/vintage.

                2. Thanks, J. Sexton. I didn't realize. Makes sense, though.

                  1. just to set the record straight; at the ocean house in croton the corkage fee is $4 per TABLE, NOT $10 PER BOTTLE!!! And note, this is PER TABLE...bring in one bottle- bring in 3... This modest fee is to cover cost of glassware, washing the glasses, pouring the bottles, keeping the whites cold...

                    i only wish people truly understood how much goes into operating a restaurant!!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: goldiesbug

                      $4 per table is VERY reasonable, shockingly so! And very different from $10 per bottle, which you must admit, sounds high for an unlicensed restaurant even though it was misreported. (And by the way--I'm a former sous-chef/manager/etc. who worked for a 15 years in the biz.)

                    2. Thanks for clearing up the $10 per bottle mis-information. We've enjoyed our trips to Ocean House - we're not wine drinkers (husband gets headaches) but dear friends that we want to bring there are, and we wouldn't want to rudely surprise them, as they LOVE BYOB. $4 a table is HUGELY reasonable.

                      Nancy C

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Nancy C

                        Hmmmm....I got ripped off last time I was there, I was certainly charged a $10 corkage fee! Thanks for the information!

                      2. I happened to notice on Umami's website the other day that they charge $8 a bottle if you BYOB.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MisterBill2

                          They sell wine at Umami, so I don't blame them for an $8 corkage fee...

                        2. Plates in Larchmont allows you to bring your wine. It is really a fabulous restaurant and many collectors bring their own to have great food to go w/that great bottle of wine. they will decant it for you if need be. Midweek, many foodies and wine reps are there w/their own wines. They have a website. Platesonthepark.com Enjoy.