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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.

Owen Boss 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 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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