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Jul 15, 2014 03:05 PM

Kosher restaurants w/corkage

Do any allow you to BYOB of wine with payment of a corkage fee?

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  1. I'm trying to picture how any hechsher could allow people to bring their own wine into a supervised kosher restaurant. Would they have the mashgiach check every bottle of wine brought in to make sure it was kosher?

    In any case, I've never seen a kosher restaurant that allowed BYOB.

    6 Replies
    1. re: follick

      I know at least the old eden wok allowed BYOB for sheva brachot. And yes, the mashgiach checked the bottle. It doesn't help the OP, but I'm sure other places allow it too.

      1. re: avitrek

        Yes, I've seen places that will allow it for catered events where there is only one host to deal with and it can be discussed and approved in advance. A restaurant with many people walking in off the street would be much more challenging to do this with.

        1. re: follick

          If you search BYOB on this board there are multiple restaurants mentioned. Specifically, it looks like liquor laws in Teaneck are strict enough that a number of kosher restaurants are BYOB.

      2. re: follick

        As a technical matter, it shouldn't even matter if the wine is kosher. The mashgiach could simply institute a policy of rinsing all wine glasses in cold water as soon as they come back into the kitchen, and then he doesn't need to worry what sort of wine people are bringing in. If they want to drink treif wine with their kosher meal, that's sad, but it shouldn't affect the hechsher.

        1. re: zsero

          There was a recent discussion on thsi board about kosher restaurants serving non-kosher wine and I wrote about the Catskills in their prime when Grossinger's and the Concord (among others had treif wine available for purchase). They used the cold water rinse system you mention. I worked the mountains during college breaks and summers some 40 years ago.

        2. re: follick

          "Would they have the mashgiach check every bottle of wine brought in to make sure it was kosher?"

          Uh, yeah. That would likely add some justification for a corkage fee. Kosher wine labeling isn't all that complicated and an added step of confirming the kashruth of a wine before opening and pouring is pretty insignificant.

          And in an area like mine (Chicago), the cost of obtaining a liquor license is high and the process is cumbersome, so many (non-Kosher) restaurants opt for BYOB. Checking wines for proper certification seems like a very manageable step (it's likely to be in the 10-20 bottles per night range - and I'm probably overestimating).

        3. In Chicago - I believe Taboun Grill is BYOB - Binny's Liquors is close by and has a nice wine selection -

          1. I think it probably depends a lot on the location and local laws. Several years ago when I was visiting Philly the restaurant we went to told us where we could buy kosher wine across the street to bring in for our meal. I don't remember if we had to pay a corkage fee or if they checked the bottle for a hechsher.

            1. I've been to a few BYOB restaurants (Hummus Elite in Englewood, for one) but I don't recall ever paying a corkage fee. I also don't recall the bottle being inspected for a hechsher, but maybe they didn't bother because our party was very obviously strictly Orthodox.

              1. I've seen BYOB in kosher restaurants that don't have a liquor license. It's hard to get one in Bergen County (home of Teaneck, Englewood, etc.), so most of the kosher restaurants there permit it, for mevushal wines only (or any beer that doesn't need a hechsher). No corkage fees that I've seen.