Boston Hopes BYOB Licenses Help Neighborhood Restaurants

By Mike LaCrosse, WBZ-TV

EAST BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been seven months since the City of Boston started accepting applications for BYOB licenses and to date only two have been issued. One to a restaurant that’s no longer open, the second to 300 Saratoga Cafe in East Boston.

“My customers love it. They can bring in their own. I still serve it. We don’t charge anything. There’s no corking fee, there’s no glass fee, no serving fee,” said Nadeane Scalfani of 300 Saratoga Cafe.

byob Boston Hopes BYOB Licenses Help Neighborhood Restaurants

300 Saratoga Cafe in East Boston (WBZ-TV)

The Eastie eatery has seen business double since getting the BYOB license in the spring.

“I think it’s less expensive to come to a BYOB,” Roseanne Hudd of Winthrop.

“It makes you want to build a sense of community here. You know you bring your own bottle you can come and talk,” said Jasmine Richardson of East Boston.

“I like to be able to bring a bottle that I enjoy as opposed to sometimes getting a house wine,” said Cathy Curran of Winthrop.

wine Boston Hopes BYOB Licenses Help Neighborhood Restaurants

Customers inside 300 Saratoga Cafe in East Boston (WBZ-TV)

Boston’s Licensing Board started issuing BYOB licenses this spring as a way to help new and smaller restaurants in the neighborhoods generate business.

BYOB is only allowed between 5PM and 11PM. Customers can only bring in a limited amount of beer and wine.

The mayor’s office is encouraging more to take advantage of the option.

“We’re hoping that more people and patrons alike take advantage of this new BYOB license policy that gives neighborhood restaurants another opportunity to thrive and provides more options for consumers to dine local and enjoy a night out,” said Nicole Caravella, Press Secretary Office of Mayor Martin Walsh.

The policy prevents restaurants with a license from charging any “corkage” or other fees.

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