Monday, August 17, 2009

Rant: Not Enough BYOBs

It is almost a given that many restaurants charge far too much for wine. You can usually expect to pay two to three times the usual retail price for a bottle of wine. So you might find a $20 wine at your local wine store, but have to pay $40-$60 at a restaurant to get that same bottle. Sure, there are some restaurants which offer good wine values, but they are the exception.

Rather than pay the exorbitant prices, I would love to see more BYOB restaurants, places where you can bring your own bottles of wine, paying a small corkage fee, if at all. As alcohol can be one of the most expensive items on your bill, being able to bring your own wine makes dining out far more affordable. Plus, you can bring wine you know you like, rather than have to find something on a wine list which might be largely unfamiliar to you.

The problem is that there seem to be so few BYOB restaurants around. And I don't think many of those BYOB restaurants do a sufficient job of telling people they can bring their own wine. Especially in these tough economic times, we need value restaurants and BYOBs offer much value.

Locally, we have a few BYOB restaurants. For example, there is Kyotoya in Stoneham, a Japanese place that does not charge a corkage fee. There is Porchai in Wakefield, a Thai place that also does not charge a corkage fee. La Stanza Diva in Woburn serves Italian cuisine and wild game and charges a $3 corkage fee.

Do you have any BYOB restaurants in your neighborhood?


Liza said...

Hear, hear! Tow place in the SF Bay Area that have great programs are: Indigo, which has a nice wine program of its own but also free corkage and Red Sea Ethiopian in Temescal, which has cheerful $5 corkage

MC Slim JB said...

Sadly, BYOB is illegal in the city of Boston (and I believe Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline as well). There are places that allow it anyway (which I won't mention here for fear of ruining it for all), usually small, family-run joints. And you can BYOB if a restaurant has applied for a beer/wine, beer/wine/cordial, or all-alcohol license but has not yet received a decision from the licensing board.

Roman Zubarev said...

Hi Richard,

During a recent google search for BYOBs, I came across this article and wanted to suggest as a resource for finding BYO restaurants in your neighborhood.

Taking a look at the Boston region, there are 348 BYO restaurant listings there. There are also 9 other regions to choose from.

Also, BYO regulations for MA can be found here:

Hope this helps you find more BYO restaurants nearby.

- Roman

Maggie said...

Bellino's in Wakefield used to be BYOB. Loved it then. So sad it changed... :(