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Restaurants with bottle service

blinko1 Aug 2, 2013 07:13 AM

Just wondering if anyone knows of some restaurants in the Boston area that allow you to order a bottle of vodka so that you can do toasts etc. I am organizing a birthday party for some older Russian and Armenian folk and the toast is a pretty important part of the whole experience.

I know that Crystal in Allston used to but it seems that they have gotten some flack very recently as they apparently didn't have a license to do so. I also know that a lot of clubs have this option but we are hoping for a restaurant environment.

  1. MC Slim JB Aug 2, 2013 07:50 AM

    Bottle service is sometimes confused with BYOB, but to be clear, it's the ability of a licensed establishment to sell liquor in whole bottles. You mostly see it in nightclubs here (places like Rumor and Guilt, bleh) but the Boston Licensing Board doesn't like it much, as the kinds of places that like to do bottle service tend to be troublesome, so it's pretty tightly controlled.

    Cafe St. Petersburg in Newton does "bottle service" (more like "carafes of our own house-infused vodkas"). The cranberry one is pretty nice, the lemon, not so.

    It might be easier to bring your own bottle for a toast, but BYO is not legal anywhere in Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, or Brookline. In fact, BYO in not allowed anywhere in the Commonwealth if the establishment already has a liquor license.

    Whether an unlicensed establishment can allow BYO depends on local municipal authorities. Judging from comments here, many near suburbs like Newton and Arlington allow it. I imagine it gets easier the further out you get.


    15 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB
      Veggo Aug 2, 2013 07:58 AM

      That is interesting. At all the slick nightclubs in Mexico City, bottle service and set-ups are automatic.

      1. re: Veggo
        MC Slim JB Aug 2, 2013 08:02 AM

        It's popular in a lot of American cities (I see it all over NY and LA, for instance). MA and Boston liquor laws are just byzantine.


        1. re: MC Slim JB
          blinko1 Aug 2, 2013 08:24 AM

          Yeah given the lack of clear options we will probably just order rounds of drinks and deal with it. I love Boston in so many ways but this is not one of them.

          1. re: MC Slim JB
            hotoynoodle Aug 2, 2013 09:29 AM

            byzantine and archaic.

            we're still suffocating under laws that were designed to oppress the irish well over 100 years ago.

            if you got a private room, some place may let you skirt the law. not that i am suggesting this. :)

            1. re: MC Slim JB
              LStaff Aug 6, 2013 07:46 AM

              I am shocked that it is allowed at all in MA. Kind of makes sense to me to not allow patrons to serve hard alcohol to themeselves, but I agree many of the other laws are archaic.

              1. re: LStaff
                LeoLioness Aug 6, 2013 08:08 AM

                Ostensibly, your table has a server that is actually pouring the drinks. Bottle service is just an absurd way to get a table in a club.

                1. re: LeoLioness
                  StriperGuy Aug 6, 2013 09:02 AM

                  "Bottle service is just an absurd (expensive) way to get a table in a club" that is true for the NY LA night life scene.

                  In much of Eastern Europe and elsewhere it is how folks drink and socialize. Ordering a drink is just having a drink. Ordering a bottle is celebrating.

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    LeoLioness Aug 6, 2013 09:09 AM

                    Right, but I was answering L Staff within the context of the Boston area, where bottle service is mostly (I believe?) limited to clubs.

                    1. re: LeoLioness
                      hotoynoodle Aug 6, 2013 09:16 AM

                      working as a bartender ages ago i sold a bottle of stoli orange "to go" to rolling stone ron wood. he was staying right nearby at the 4-seasons and me trying to explain it wasn't allowed was impossible. sooooo, i just did it, lol.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        StriperGuy Aug 6, 2013 09:18 AM


                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                          Gordough Aug 6, 2013 10:12 AM


                          1. re: Gordough
                            hotoynoodle Aug 6, 2013 10:43 AM

                            lol. $100. probably could have asked for $500, but just did the math on 10 drinks.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                              bear Aug 6, 2013 11:09 AM

                              Sometimes, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

                              1. re: bear
                                hotoynoodle Aug 6, 2013 11:15 AM

                                guys used to ask to buy my neckties there too. i always happily sold them for a tidy profit. :)

                                finally, i asked to stop wearing ties and the owner obliged.

                        2. re: LeoLioness
                          StriperGuy Aug 6, 2013 09:19 AM


            2. a
              andieb Aug 2, 2013 07:23 AM

              May not be the best choice, I haven't been there in years, but Karoun in Newton I think offers bottle service of both vodka and armenian brandy...

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