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Jun 21, 2011 12:37 PM

Cleve restaurants that allow wine brought in

For a very special occasion I am trying to find a Cleveland restaurant that allows you to pay corkage for a wine they do not carry. It is more about the bottle then the charge for bringing it in.After many phone calls to various places, most say it is against the law. With that said I know that rules can be overlooked.

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  1. My guess, pick a spot you know is not a chain and pretty pricey and ask for a manager and slip the guy a 20? I can't think of any CLE BYOB spots, but I know Phoenix Coffee on W.9th just started allowing it so it may be legal- they have a huge BYOB sign up.

    Phoenix Coffee
    1728 Saint Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

    1. If we did know of such a place we would not throw them under the bus by posting here. Sorry.

      1. My understanding is that BYOB is indeed illegal in Ohio, except perhaps at places with no liquor license. That said, you still might be able to bring a special bottle somewhere by arranging something discretely in advance with the sommelier.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Niki in Dayton

          Technically, under the Ohio Revised Code, no restaurant in Ohio, unless it has a liquor permet,may legally permit patrons to consume or possess an open container of alcohol. "BYOB" is not legal in the state of Ohio pursuant to Ohio Revised Code ("ORC") Section 4301.62. However, as a practical matter, many places do allow it. Since it if only enforced by the police, who usually have other things to do, it does happen a lot.

          Permitted establishments are only allowed to serve (or allow to be served in their premises) alcohol that they have purchased pursuant to their permits; charging "corkage" and allowing to you bring your own bottle is again technically illegal, though it happens all the time. The potential consequences to the establishment are greater if they have a permit, because this type of violation can be enforced against them by the Ohio Department of Liquor Control, which has local agents/inspectors everywhere in the state.

          1. re: NancyH

            Thanks, Nancy. I wasn't sure of the specifics, although I was aware that BYOB was illegal in Ohio, stemming from a discussion with Mark Fisher, who writes the food and wine column for the Dayton Daily News. Someone asked him to list places that allow BYOB, and he declined since BYOB is illegal.