At-large City Councilors Michelle Wu and Steve Murphy are proposing a change in city ordinances to let smaller restaurants offer BYOB service.
In a proposal to go before the council tomorrow - assuming the council meets - the councilors will propose ending the city's current BYOB ban for restaurants that cannot afford one of the city's pricey liquor licenses or which are not located in the areas for which the state legislature gave the city new licenses. State law prohibits BYOB for restaurants with liquor licenses, but leaves the issue up to local authorities for restaurants without them.
In their request for a hearing on the issue, the two write:
A regulated “Bring Your Own Bottle” (BYOB) system in Boston would give restaurateurs the choice to create an environment where patrons bring their own wine and beer, offering more flexibility in business models and alleviating some of the disadvantage from scarce liquor licenses.
BYOB would also let patrons enjoy their dining experience with their own selection of wine and drink at certain restaurants, encouraging residents and visitors to dine out due to greater options and a better consumer experience.
The two note that New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and even Brookline allow BYOB at restaurants without liquor licenses and that they are confident the Boston Licensing Board could come up with regulations that would not result in neighborhood chaos, for example, by requiring licenses for BYOB service.
The council's regular meeting starts at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.