Boston Weighs BYOB In Some Restaurants

Download Audio

The Boston City Council is considering a proposal to allow customers to bring their own bottle (BYOB) of wine or beer into some restaurants in the city.

BYOB is already successful in some suburban areas of Boston including Amherst, Needham and Rockland, as well as cities like Chicago and Philadelphia.

But while some say BYOB could give a boost to small restaurants that can't afford — or have trouble obtaining — liquor license, others worry it could create a two-tiered system that leaves lower-income neighborhoods behind.


Michelle Wu, at-large Boston City Councilor. She tweets @wutrain.

Ayanna Pressley, at-large Boston City Councilor. She tweets @AyannaPressley.

Gary Webster, owner of Down Home Delivery in Dorchester.

Hector Piña, owner of Merengue Restaurant in Roxbury.


The Boston Globe: Boston City Council Members Skeptical On BYOB

  • "(City Councilor Ayanna) Pressley said she had concerns about how BYOB would be regulated, and feared the practice would lower the cost of dining and, consequently, reduce tips for wait staff."

The Boston Globe: Let Diners Bring Own Bottles, Say Councilors

  • "Proponents say BYOB makes it easier for budding chefs to open neighborhood spots. In Boston, liquor licenses are scarce commodities, often prohibitively expensive for small restaurants. But the BYOB idea could spark a backlash from established restaurateurs who made significant investments to buy liquor licenses."

The Passionate Foodie Blog: BYOB In Boston

  • "BYOB can enhance a neighborhood's dining scene, giving people an added reason to dine out. Purchasing wine and beer at a restaurant, with high mark-ups, can be expensive, so being able to BYOB can make dining out less expensive. That can lead to people dining out even more, making up for lost revenue from BYOB."

This segment aired on February 17, 2015.


More from Radio Boston

Listen Live