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I was told it is no longer legal to bring your own booze into restaurants. (The restaurants are not allowed to do that anymore).

Is this accurate?

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  1. If your speaking about wine, it's perfectly legal as long as the restaurant says it's OK - and many restaurants have corkage fees even though they do not promote or mention them.
    Here's one such list...

    1. Definitely not illegal-
      here's a good wiki resource:

      1. Grub Street ran a piece about how cops are cracking down on places selling booze to go ( and I assume for delivery) but I haven't heard anything about byob laws. I think it would make pretty big news in the food world...


        1. I know it is allowed in Chicago, last year when I was living there I went to quite a few places that where it was legal...not really worth it though the corking fee is like worth a bottle itself.

          1. We brought our own bottle of wine to Tanoreen in Bay Ridge fairly recently and there was no problem at all. They have a great attitude, in general, and that included our bottle of wine. Others who were there that night brought wine too.

            I was amused when our waiter brought us glasses, uncorked our wine for us, poured and then waited for us to taste it and okay it. I chuckled and asked him what he would do if it wasn't okay. He laughed and said something about his good neighbor who runs the liquor store next door where he knew we had bought it.

            FYI, there is a very reasonable $5 corkage fee at Tanoreen, a restaurant I love in my home neighborhood that has great, extremely reasonably priced food and a wonderful attitude. And very conveniently, there is a liquor store almost next door.

            I certainly hope there hasn't been a change in BYOB laws in NYC. Smoking and transfats I can deal with....but not BYOB!

            1. It's a shame that people provide "information" without knowing the actual law. In fact, in NY you can only consume alcohol in restaurants with liquor licenses (or with less than 20 seats). So BYOB is generally legal only if the place serves alcohol, but in most cases it's not in their interest to allow it. Many places that do not have a wine/beer/liquor license allow BYOB, but technically this is not legal and occasionally the police crack down. Here's an (actually researched) article from Zagat that summarizes the rules: http://www.zagat.com/news/newsCUR.asp...

              Note that this is not a new law at all. It probably goes back to the end of Prohibition. But there may have been a new local crackdown in the area where you were told it is not legal.

              4 Replies
              1. re: bobjbkln

                I can't answer for others but I know I feel suitably chastised. Jeez.

                1. re: livetotravel

                  All I can say to the above chastisement is this: After 25 years of eating out in NYC, if there is indeed an actual law against BYOB to restuarants that do not have liquor licenses, well, who knew? Nobody could reasonably be expected to know that law actually exists, based on actual practice and years of real life experience. I don't think I blew any big secret. And just as a point of detail, I've never considered bringing my own to a restaurant that does have a liquor license. I didn't realize that people do that. You can learn something every day.

                  I guess maybe I shouldn't try to provide "information" in answer to questions posted here based soley on my years of personal experience if I don't have time to do some legal research first.


                  1. re: Kitchop

                    Sorry if you feel that way, but the OP was apparently asking about the LAW. S/he was either stopped or otherwise advised that s/he could not bring wine or beer into a restaurant. I thought that informing what the law really is is helpful.

                    The police (usually on complaints) do enforce this law occasionally and some restaurants feel it necessary to protect themselves. In fact, a new trendy restaurant in Manhattan, European Union, was forced to close because they could not get a liquor license and the police kept coming in and issuing summonses when they allowed BYOB.

                    I think that is what the OP wanted to know and the Zagat article is a good summary of the situation. I learned something there. I trust you did too if you read it.

                    1. re: bobjbkln

                      i agree, that's what my buddy told me too, whose is a liquor license consultant for restaurant.