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cambridgedoctpr Feb 23, 2011 02:26 PM

I do not know whether it is legal to bring your own bottle; does anyone know what the laws are?

Are there places where you can legally BYOB? I certainly do not want anyone posting about a place that does it illegally.

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    emannths RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 23, 2011 02:47 PM

    As long as they DON'T have a liquor license, and the town has no additional restrictions, it is legal according to state laws:


    6 Replies
    1. re: emannths
      invinotheresverde RE: emannths Feb 23, 2011 02:57 PM

      What he said.

      1. re: emannths
        hotoynoodle RE: emannths Feb 24, 2011 09:32 AM

        different cities and towns have different laws, that supersede the state law. it is illegal in boston with or without the place having a liquor license.

        1. re: hotoynoodle
          invinotheresverde RE: hotoynoodle Feb 24, 2011 11:53 AM

          The ABC told me no place with an on-premise license can legally allow BYO in MA. Town law supercedes that or does it just work the opposite way (that they can refuse BYO regardless of licensing?).

          1. re: invinotheresverde
            emannths RE: invinotheresverde Feb 24, 2011 12:01 PM

            Oops, didn't realize my link doesn't point right to the explanation. Here it is from the ABC:

            Can anyone bring their own beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages into an establishment (so-called "BYOB")?

            Not if the establishment has a liquor license. If the establishment has a liquor license, then no one can carry onto the premises their own beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages for their own private consumption (so-called "BYOB" or "brown-bagging").

            If the establishment does not have a liquor license, then one must check with the city/town in which the establishment is located to learn if there is any local law dealing with bringing one's own beer onto an establishment for personal consumption.


            So the answer is that if a place holds a license to sell on-premises, BYOB is not allowed, and local laws cannot change this.

            1. re: emannths
              invinotheresverde RE: emannths Feb 24, 2011 12:20 PM

              That's exactly what I thought. Thanks. ;)

              1. re: emannths
                hotoynoodle RE: emannths Feb 25, 2011 06:06 PM

                certain towns allow byob for places that do not have a license. lowell allows this, for example, however, boston does not.

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          Pegmeister RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 03:55 AM

          Alia in Winthrop does BYOB. Just grab a bottle of wine from the store around the corner. Also, the food is quite good and Said and his wife will make you feel at home.

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            bluerib RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 05:37 AM

            Sweet Basil Needham is byob and a great restaurant as well.

            Sweet Basil
            942 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492

            1 Reply
            1. re: bluerib
              nsenada RE: bluerib Feb 24, 2011 09:51 AM

              Yes, that's a great spot for BYOB.

            2. Bob Dobalina RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 05:55 AM

              Brookline town minutes suggest that while there is no written regulation prohibiting BYOB, it is considered illegal. That's Brookline for ya.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina
                cambridgedoctpr RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 24, 2011 06:14 AM

                it might be nice to have a list of restaurants - in cities where it is legal - that allow BYOB.

                by the way, what about Boston? I know that it is not legal in Cambridge.

                1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                  Allstonian RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 07:42 AM

                  BYOB is not legal in Boston.

                  1. re: Allstonian
                    hckybg RE: Allstonian Feb 24, 2011 01:54 PM

                    I believe that it is legal in Somerville, or at least that is where I have gone to restaurants that allow it. But I'm not naming names until I know for sure.

                    1. re: hckybg
                      emannths RE: hckybg Feb 24, 2011 02:06 PM

                      Unfortunately, it's illegal in Somerville. See section 2.02 (pdf):


                      "Patrons are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages on the premises for
                      their own consumption."

                      Of course, it doesn't talk about who is in violation here--most of the alcohol-related stuff in the rules explicitly mentions when it is and is not the responsibility of the licensee to enforce the rule. Though generally the licensee is responsible for ensuring that "illegal activities do not occur at the licensed premises."

                      1. re: emannths
                        cambridgedoctpr RE: emannths Feb 24, 2011 02:48 PM

                        so i guess that if i brought a bottle in for you; that would be just fine.

                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                          hckybg RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 05:51 PM

                          Hmmm...let's just say some of the tastier establishments on upper Beacon Street allow it. Thanks for posting the link, that seems to be the official word.

                2. re: Bob Dobalina
                  BobB RE: Bob Dobalina Mar 2, 2011 10:05 AM

                  I actually asked the Brookline town counsel that question a while back, and got this reply: "It is my understanding that the Town does not allow this."

                  Which sounds pretty vague, kind of like she didn't bother to actually check.

                  Of course, there is at least one Brookline restaurant that does allow it, and has for years, quite openly, seemingly without any problems. Without naming names, it's one of the (relatively) inexpensive Thai places that typically gets very high ratings on the board here.

                  1. re: BobB
                    emannths RE: BobB Mar 2, 2011 10:47 AM

                    If someone wants to go through the legwork, here's the Brookline Licensing Board's info, with a contact at the bottom. http://www.brooklinema.gov/index.php?...

                    If Somerville is any guide, the way no-BYOB is enforced is by making it a condition for holding a common victualer's license--so ask to see the details on that license.

                3. b
                  bluesjack RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 07:02 AM

                  Either i'm getting old or I've drunk too much wine but there is a tiny family run Italian place in Swampscott that lets you BYOB, could someone refresh my memory as to the name?
                  I've eaten there and could find it but the name escapes me

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bluesjack
                    StevieC RE: bluesjack Feb 24, 2011 08:09 AM

                    Probably Caffe Paolina, which I believe does allow BYOB.

                    1. re: StevieC
                      bluesjack RE: StevieC Feb 24, 2011 04:41 PM

                      yes thatt's it...thanks

                  2. okra RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 10:10 AM

                    Mangia Bene on Main St in Mansfield, is BYOB...

                    Mangia Bene
                    20 S Main St, Mansfield, MA 02048

                    1. t
                      treb RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 11:08 AM

                      Most places in Winthrop, Roeselli's, DeParma, Alia are BYO.

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                        ava1over RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 12:07 PM

                        Frequently restaurants will have a re-corking fee if you BYOB.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ava1over
                          csammy RE: ava1over Feb 25, 2011 06:52 PM

                          I think you mean "Corkage Fee".

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                          emannths RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 24, 2011 12:39 PM

                          For curiosity's sake, does anyone know where the text is that restricts BYO, both statewide and in Boston? It's got to be in MGL chapter 138, I don't know where. I also have no idea where it is in Boston's ordinances.

                          Edit: Nevermind. I was curious how they dealt with BYO if someone didn't have a license to begin with, but it looks like it's done via the restaurant/victualers license.

                          1. i
                            Isolda RE: cambridgedoctpr Feb 25, 2011 05:38 PM

                            BYOB is legal in Wellesley. Cafe Mangal, which doesn't have a liquor license, allows and even encourages it. Their food is excellent, so bringing your own wine makes it quite a bargain as well.

                            Cafe Mangal
                            555 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482

                            1. z
                              ziggles RE: cambridgedoctpr Mar 3, 2011 06:13 AM

                              BYOB is ok in Belmont, and I highly recommend Kitchen on Common. They do a nice seasonally inspired menu. The food is excellent and affordable. If you don't have a bottle of wine on hand, duck into The Spirited Gourmet next door and pick something up.

                              Kitchen on Common
                              442 Common St, Belmont, MA 02478

                              Spirited Gourmet
                              448 Common St, Belmont, MA 02478

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ziggles
                                emboston RE: ziggles Mar 14, 2011 11:50 AM

                                just heard about cafe rossetti's in winthrop being named a top BYO spot in the US, fyi.


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