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Would You Be Willing to BYOB to Local Restaurants?

The Board of Selectmen are currently reviewing Marblehead's BYOB regulations.

In response to a recent request from Casa Corona Restaurant for permission to allow their patrons the option of bringing along their own alcohol beverages, the Board of Selectmen reviewed the local rules pertaining to BYOB at their meeting Wednesday night.

While no official decision was made in regard to Casa Corona, board members looked over and altered a draft of local BYOB regulations that was recently crafted by Town Counsel Lisa Mead at their request.

The revamped version of the draft will now be sent back to Mead so it may be finalized at the board's next meeting.

Once finalized, Casa Corona owners Felix and Jose Bracamontes will then be called in to discuss their application; and, if all goes according to plan, patrons could be enjoying their own alcoholic beverages at the restaurant by Thanksgiving.

Regulations discussed Wednesday night included:

  • All alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, hard alcohol) will be permitted.
  • Alcohol can be sold during a restaurant's regular business hours
  • A BYOB license can be requested as soon as a Common Victualler's license has been awarded
  • Five BOYB licenses will be available in Marblehead at $50 each and will be good for 12 months
  • The Board of Selectmen can take away a license if they determine it is being abused
  • The Board of Selectmen can increase the number of licenses available
  • The Marblehead Police Department must sign-off on all applications
  • The amount of alcohol each patron can bring with them will be regulated
  • It is the responsibility of the restaurant to be sure patrons don't over-serve themselves
  • All alcoholic beverage containers brought into the restaurant must be brought out by one of the patrons
  • If a drink isn't finished, it must be taken away in a sealed clear plastic bag
  • Wait staff may not assist with alcoholic beverages unless they are over 18 and TIPS certified

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So we have to ask - would you be willing to BYOB to local restaurants without liquor licenses? Do you worry about customers over-serving themselves?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Sharon Thibodeau October 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Definitely would be willing. Hopefully they'll get a full license soon.
Bethany Porrazzo October 14, 2012 at 01:29 PM
of course.
Mike Weed October 14, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Restaurants need the revenue from alcoholic beverages to survive. While BYOB can significantly reduce your dinner bill, it's not in the best interest of the restaurant. It is anti-business to deny them a license.
kathleen October 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Would actually prefer to byob in the case of wine, but would limit this type of license to wine and beer only. Don't understand this provision though...this would be in ADDITION to the restaurant's own license to sell alcohol??? Usually a byob permit is granted in place of granting a restaurant a liquor license. How would this affect a restauant's liability? What would be their obligation to monitor what they serve in addition to what patrons bring? I'd keep this to EITHER BYOB or your own license. I don't understand why a restaurant would want this since most of the profit in a Restaurant is made from selling alcohol.
Mike Weed October 14, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Casa Corona was denied a license (not sure why). This is why they are asking for BYOB.
vytas barsauskas October 14, 2012 at 02:31 PM
This is a common practice in many towns and I cannot see why we would not do this here. Let’s people focus on the meal experience rather than being concerned of what is available on the beverage list. Let the town allocate BYOB licenses on an appropriate basis and let restaurant decide if that is appropriate for their business model.
Marguerite Hatch October 14, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Definitely
Owen Boss (Editor) October 14, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Casa Corona doesn't currently have a liquor license and the town of Marblehead can only provide so many (it's based on population.) There are currently 20 full liquor licenses and 5 beer and wine licenses in town. The Selectmen are now considering providing five BYOB licenses to businesses without full or beer and wine. Granted, no money will be made off of the sale of alcohol, but owners without licenses are banking on the increase in business if customers know they can BYOB.
Ronnie Northrop October 14, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I am not sure why they don't get a full liquoir license. In the mean time I think they definitely should be granted permission to let customers who enjoy Mexican food be able to bring their own.
Beachmaster October 14, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Why is it they did not get the license? The previous restaurants that occupied that space had one.
Owen Boss (Editor) October 14, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Liquor licenses are typically sold or transferred when a restaurant in town closes or goes out of business. I'm not sure what happened to the license that Trattoria Sablone had when they shut down.
Betty Dew October 14, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Yes, I think it is fun to BYOB. Yes, I also worry about people over serving themselves, but those who would do this would most likely drink too much in any case.
Tracy Blaney October 14, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Byob? Its not like you can blend up a margarita for yourself. They need a full liquor license. Marblehead should be supporting new businesses.
Owen Boss (Editor) October 14, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The Board of Selectmen actually discussed that at their meeting Wednesday night! If BYOB is permitted, customers would be allowed to bring home-made margaritas to go with their guacamole. Also, it's not about being non-supportive of local businesses, with a population of 20,000 - there are only 20 full liquor licenses to go around.
Ruby October 14, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Absolutely
Joe Whipple October 14, 2012 at 11:30 PM
On what provision of law do the Selectmen claim to have the power either to forbid patrons to bring their own beverages to a restaurant, to issue a license for it, or to require a license for it? I suspect they are acting completely without authority in this matter.
Owen Boss (Editor) October 15, 2012 at 01:01 AM
In Massachusetts, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (the "ABCC") generally does provide for licensed restaurants to permit BYO. But, BYO may be permitted in non-licensed restaurants by local ordinance. So, if the establishment does not have a liquor license, then one can check with the city/town in which the establishment is located to learn if there is any local law dealing with BYO.
MHH101 October 15, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Why are Liquor licenses typically sold by the restaurant when it is sold or closes and the previous grantee allowed to profit? Seems to me that license belongs state/town and should be made available to a qualified restaurant on a waiting list, at the normal licensing fee structure.

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