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Sep 6, 2010 08:34 PM

Would you go to a restaurant that doesn't serve beer, wine or any alcohol

I have some friends that are looking into opening a restaurant but they can't get a liquor license of any kind for the location. I told them out right that I didn't think they could survive but I told them I would do some research. Anyone have any thoughts??? The concept was order at the counter American comfort food and they are great cooks!!!!

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  1. I for one can say that I went to an Indian restaurant without knowing they didn't have an alcohol license...i was pretty disappointed to not have a beer with my food, and would choose another place next time for sure!

    1. In Philadelphia, there is a strong BYOB restaurant culture that is the product of Pennsylvania's archaic liquor laws. I don't know if California would permit it, but it sounds like it would be a new concept if they did.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Philly Ray

        In the state of California if you don't have a liquor license BYOB is against the law.

        1. re: Philly Ray

          Yes this is common in Philly and New Jersey and many of the best restaurants do not have liquor licenses. Besides BYOB with no corkage fee, another tactic is to give "complementary" wine as part of a meal. Since the alcohol was not really sold, the license is not necessary.

          But even if you cannot do BYOB or the give away under Cali law, it's not crazy for a casual place to not serve liquor, especially for lunch. It might be a tougher go at dinner.

          I have also been to some spots run by devout Muslims which could be BYOB in theory but alcohol is not permitted by the owners. Again, they are casual restaurants.

        2. Absolutely! I think for a casual place like that it would be okay. Even better if they offer some sophisticated specialty non-alcoholic beverages.

          1. I don't even like going out to breakfast if they don't have liquor

            3 Replies
            1. re: cookingasshole

              There is a place near home that we would frequent more if they had a beer/wine license. We were doing take out but the take out experience was getting pretty bad.

                1. Depending on the restaurant (size and volume and other factors) a liquor license can bring a significant profit to the bottom line and be the difference between profit and loss.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: monku

                    Yeah, the liquor markup is significant and makes or breaks a lot of restos, IMO.

                    My DH is a fan of beer w/lunch so that is a factor in any decision.