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BYOB near Intercontinental Hotel??????

fulloflife Oct 9, 2013 07:44 AM

preferably Italian but open to any

  1. c
    Chicken with a Capon Oct 10, 2013 08:33 PM

    It was my understanding that BYOB is against the law in Boston. Other towns do allow it, as mentioned previously it depends on the city or town.

    However, and with the caveat that I do not know this as fact, a Boston area salesman for a national wine distributor recently told me that the owner of a restaurant may use his/her discretion to allow BYO including within the city of Boston. Now maybe he meant that an owner may use discretion to skirt the law, risk getting caught and lose their liquor license, or maybe it explains why some establishments are friendlier towards the practice than others. Which, I do not know.

    I had never heard this before and as I said I do not know this to be a fact, but it seemed plausible there might be a grey area some restaurant owners might willingly use to their advantage.

    Also BYOB and "cold tea" are entirely separate issues.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chicken with a Capon
      MC Slim JB Oct 10, 2013 09:38 PM

      I'm no attorney, but I don't believe that "discretion" story for a second.

      I have heard a rumor of one exception that I've never gotten confirmation on from a reliable source, that Boston allows BYOB in the space between the time a restaurant has applied for a license and the decision of the ABB on whether it will be awarded one.

      BYOB is illegal throughout the Commonwealth in licensed establishments; allowing it in unlicensed ones is a town-by-town decision. I'm fairly certain it is not legal anywhere in Boston, Somerville, Watertown, and Cambridge.

      I believe it is allowed in unlicensed establishments in Brookline, Wellesley, Needham, Newton, Arlington, Belmont, Medford, Chelsea, Winthrop, and Lexington.

      It's a crazy-quilt of regulations, lack of regulations (effectively granting unmonitored consent), and quirky local laws. Some towns, like Marblehead, issue BYOB licenses with some strings attached: limits on the amounts brought in per party, authority of the operator to shut off intoxicated patrons, etc. Brookline doesn't allow a corkage fee, but does expect operators to ensure minors don't drink and customers don't get too bombed. Halifax allows BYOB, but every customer has to have their own container; you can't split a bottle of wine because that would effectively be "one person making delivery to another in a place that is not a residence." Cuckoo, no?

      I'd call anywhere you'd like to bring your own first.


      1. re: MC Slim JB
        Chicken with a Capon Oct 10, 2013 09:50 PM

        Yeah, it was my understanding that it was illegal in Boston as well but I didn't know if someone in the biz might have different information. Like I said, maybe by "discretion" he meant a nod, a wink, and a look the other way at the owner's peril.

        1. re: Chicken with a Capon
          hotoynoodle Oct 11, 2013 06:20 AM

          i worked for many years as a sommelier in fine dining in boston.

          it is illegal to bring your own wine.


          there were occasions that the owner(s) allowed *certain* patrons to bring in a special bottle or two. this was a rare occasion and generally happened with regular guests who were bringing in a very spendy/rare bottle for an anniversary or something. it's how i got to try screaming eagle for the first time, lol. think of it as a favor for a friend.

          byob is against the law.

          cold tea and/or a blind eye in chinatown are both something totally else.

          1. re: hotoynoodle
            MC Slim JB Oct 11, 2013 06:29 AM

            Owners will take the risk, but it comes with the caveat: "Don't go blabbing on Chowhound about how I let you bring your own $800 wine, or they'll all try to do it. We really don't want *those people* in here."


    2. C. Hamster Oct 10, 2013 08:06 PM

      Why don't we just stop talking about it.

      It's not what the OP was getting at anyway

      1. L2k Oct 10, 2013 08:29 AM

        you might be able to do this in Chinatown, but I haven't tried in decades

        5 Replies
        1. re: L2k
          hotoynoodle Oct 10, 2013 09:13 AM

          you "might", but it remains against the law.

          1. re: L2k
            MC Slim JB Oct 10, 2013 09:14 AM

            There are places in Chinatown and elsewhere that allow it, but as it remains quite illegal, it's not a good idea to discuss them in public forums like this.


            1. re: MC Slim JB
              Bellachefa Oct 10, 2013 10:10 AM

              True, about a year ago I asked here if there was still "cold tea" in Chinatown and my post was vaporized in moments! So is there? LOL!

              1. re: MC Slim JB
                L2k Oct 10, 2013 11:58 AM

                which is why I did not mention any places by name.

                Not that they are still around, anyway.

                1. re: L2k
                  hotoynoodle Oct 10, 2013 05:57 PM

                  they are still around.

            2. hotoynoodle Oct 9, 2013 02:23 PM

              you can bring liquor to your room in the hotel. :)

              1. C. Hamster Oct 9, 2013 12:56 PM

                It depends on the city or town.

                Boston does not allow it, with or without a liquor license.

                1. t
                  treb Oct 9, 2013 11:32 AM

                  Winthrop has several restaurants that allow BYOB. DiParma's and Alia's are both Italian and have BYO.

                  Not allowed in Boston.

                  1. trufflehound Oct 9, 2013 08:16 AM

                    Restaurants with liquor/Beer/Wine licenses are not allowed by law to allow BYOB.

                    1. Allstonian Oct 9, 2013 07:53 AM

                      BYOB isn't legal in Boston.

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