Would You BYOB If Boston Finally Lifts Its Ban?

A new ordinance before the City Council would green-light BYOB for small restaurants without liquor licenses in outlying neighborhoods.

Due before Boston City Council on Wednesday is a new ordinance that would finally lift the ban on BYOB for some Boston eateries in lieu of liquor licenses

Patrons of dine-in restaurants with 30 or fewer seats and waitstaff in outlying neighborhoods like Hyde Park, Roxbury and Dorchester would be able to enjoy carry-in beer and wine with their meals if the ordinance, spearheaded by Councilors Michelle Wu and Stephen Murphy, succeeds.

Wu, a former restauranteur in Chicago, told the Herald last week that the ordinance would allow small mom-and-pop joints to grow their businesses. These restaurants would still be able to charge corkage fees. Meanwhile, longstanding establishments in Boston proper with liquor licenses—prohibited from offering a BYOB option, per the Legislature—would be unharmed, Wu argued.

If passed by the City Council, the ordinance will move to Mayor Marty Walsh’s desk. Both the mayor and Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans have said they would be open to the idea, so long as it’s properly regulated. If signed, the measure would still need approval from the Licensing Board.

POLL: Would you BYOB?