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Soon you'll be able to BYOB to an East Boston pizza patio

The Boston Licensing Board today unanimously approved a request from DaCoopas Pizza, 474 Saratoga St. to let its customers bring their own beer or wine with which to enjoy a pie or sub outdoors.

"I enthusiastically support this application," Licensing Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce said.

At a hearing yesterday, DaCoopas owner Sotirios Stefanopoulos noted the pizza place has been around for 60 years - and owned by his family for the last 40 - and that he hoped the ability to bring in a bottle of wine or up to a growler of beer per person would bring in new business.

Stefanopoulos's plan calls for 30 seats in a new patio area along Chelsea Street, with with hours of 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in nice weather.

The licensing board developed BYOB regulations in 2017 as a way to help smaller restaurants in outer neighborhoods that could not afford to buy an increasingly expensive Boston beer-and-wine or full-alcohol license, the total number of which remains under the thumb of the state legislature. However, few restaurants have applied for the $400 annual licenses.



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And it should be in effect by default when a place has seating but lacks a liquor license (of course, places should be able to opt-out).


No, clearly the answer is an additional type of license to allow customers to bring alcohol despite the lack of BYOB license.

Yeah, but can you bring your own pizza into a gin mill?

There are two kinds of bar licenses in Boston. One requires the place to serve food, the other does not. In the past, places with a food condition on their license have gotten hauled before the licensing board if BPD's licensing cops found they were not, in fact, offering food for sale.

The answer: Petition to change the license to eliminate the requirement to have food available, add a popcorn machine or one of those sad hot-dog metal-roller things or show proof that while you don't serve food yourself, you offer menus for nearby restaurants that will deliver to your patrons.

There was one place (South End, maybe?) that even had a slot cut into the wall that separated it from a neighboring pizza place. Customers would call the pizza place and order a pie and it would be delivered via that wall slot.

University House of Pizza and Punter's Pub (across from the Museum of Fine Arts) had that setup, although it appears that Punter's Pub closed a few years ago. I only ever saw it from the UHOP side of the wall, though.

A blast from the past! I used to go there as a student of the long defunct Boston State College in the 1970s. The drinking age was 18 back then.

Fun fact: The Punter's bar is now installed across the street at the MFA - but in an employee-only lounge.