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Mar 4, 2010 08:03 AM

BYOB in the Triangle?

Hi there - I'm looking for a few CHOW-worthy licensed BYOB spots in the Triangle. A place that doesn't serve alcohol but allows customers to bring in their own. I thought Gourmet Kingdom fit the bill, but they don't have an NC BYOB license.

This would be for a small group gathering -- and a possible CHOW gathering featuring craft beer.

Any good places out there that welcome outsiders with booze?


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    1. Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I know that Butternut Squash allows people to bring a bottle of wine for a small ($3) corkage fee.

      13 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        I was thinking along the same lines. I'd guess that anywhere with a corkage policy would be open to a similar arrangement with beer. I tried to look for a list of establishments who hold the charmingly named "brown-bagging license" but couldn't find one on ABC's website.

        1. re: brokegradstudent

          yeah, can't see why it wouldnt' work for beer too.

          Just had a great meal at Gourmet Kingdom. Brought along a bottle ... not allowed to use it. If the food and company hadn't been so great I'd be PO'd. Anyway, learned my lesson: flask.

          1. re: LulusMom

            BYOB permits are only given to establishments who cannot purchase a license, like if liquor by the drink is not approved or in dry counties. Restaurants who are licensed can allow customers to bring their own wine or beer and can charge corkage. Liquor is not allowed to be brought in to a licensed business, only into those with byob permits. Stupid ABC laws in NC

            1. re: veganhater

              So what the OP is going to have to do is call the restaurant (that is licensed to serve alcohol) he/she wishes to go to, and see if they are ok with a byob scenario?

              Also, this means GK isn't eligible for a byob permit, since Orange County is not a dry county?

              1. re: carolinadawg

                We know for sure that Butternut Squash lets you bring in a bottle (for a small corkage fee) and it is in Orange County. All kind of confusing. I think there are two different kinds of permits - one that permits a restaurant to sell booze and one that permits them to let you BYOB.

                1. re: carolinadawg

                  So there is exactly 1 place in Orange, Durham and Wake counties with an active "brown-bagging (restaurant)" permit, 19th Hole Bar and Grill in Raleigh. There are many private clubs who hold them (country/swim clubs, fraternal orgs, etc.). It seems that many are also given for one-off events.

                  I couldn't find the specific rule that prohibits byob at otherwise licensed places (I trust VH that it is there) but I know I've seen corkage policies at places w/ bars (criminals!).

                  In looking I discovered that it is against state law to have "Happy Hour" specials on spiritous liquors. Any price offered on the day must be made available for the whole day. Cheap drinks for everyone, all night long!

                  1. re: brokegradstudent

                    Speaking of which, that new Irish place on Franklin has a GREAT price on draft Stella Artois on Sunday nights - something like $2 each. Must be all day, given what you've said. I was very happy to live walking distance.

                    These laws all strike me as insane and draconian. It is legal to drink, so what exactly is the problem?

                    1. re: brokegradstudent

                      Something I find very odd, that I haven't seen elsewhere, is that you can buy a bottle, not finish it, and take it to go. This means you have an open bottle in your car (if you've driven) which would be totally against the law in most places. How can that possibly be legal?

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I think the concept is that you are supposed to lock the bottle in the trunk of your car, or the glove compartment, if your car has no trunk. NC alcohol rules are crazy.

                        1. re: carolinadawg

                          back in Montana a similar law was averted by having someone sit in the truck bed and hold it.

                          Down here, I actually knew a guy who, because he knew the wine bottle would end up in the trunk, carried one of those small vacuum sealers so it wouldn't leak around a re-inserted cork.

                          1. re: carolinadawg

                            Correction - alcohol laws in most states are insane. I used to live in VA and I made my own beer and cider. If I wanted to make cider that had an alcohol content of over 8%, I was required to get a permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Seriously. I made beer that was around that %, no requirement for special permit.

                            And until recently, in NC you could not sell beer with an AC % of 8 or over.

                            And forget about buying beer or wine at the grocery store before noon on Sunday in NC or VA. Or 1 pm in OH. I know this has something to do with tyring to get people to go to church on Sunday instead of drinking (or something), but really, if that's what someone wants to do, most people really are capable of planning ahead. And anyone with a hangover from Saturday night is probably still sleeping it off anyway.

                            In OH, if the cashier in a grocery store is under 21, they cannot touch your booze bottles or ring them up. They have to stop checking you out, and call over someone 21 or over to scan the alcohol.

                            I could go on, but yeah, there's a metric ton of dumb laws out there.

                            1. re: romansperson

                              That alcohol limit was 6% until 2005. I helped out with the effort ( You'd think that'd give me some insight into BYOB laws, but I'm still confused as to what I can and can't do. Goes to show how loopy alcohol laws are.

                              I'll probably work with some chefs that I know and see about an informal gathering.

                        2. re: brokegradstudent

                          You can byob of beer or wine, but not liquor. They get very particular about spirits, and if you have liquor by the drink there are all kinds of dumb rules. You can't have two of the same liquor open at the same time being one of them, which sucks if you use a spirit in the kitchen but can't keep a separate bottle there. Also, every bottle of liquor needs to be stamped properly and displayed front and center, ruining the display of high end liquors. We were also told we could be penalized if a customer was witnessed sneaking in their own alcohol (not beer or wine).

                          As far as brown bag permits, most of the ones in existance have been operating with the same permit for years (mostly country clubs). As alcohol laws have changed, their brown bag permits were grandfathered in.

                          Some of these laws, like no happy hour, make no sense and should be changed. You also can't technically include alcohol in a set price, although we do it anyway. I wish the whole system could be revamped by someone with common sense.

              2. Have you looked in Chatham or Randolph counties? I have a vague inkling that there is no liquor by the drink in Chatham, and last I checked, Randolph was dry.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Naco

                  FYI, Yancey and Graham are the only completely dry counties in NC. Randolph County itself is dry, but Asheboro, Liberty and Randleman have varying forms of alcohol sales.

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