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Selectmen Pave the Way for BYOB Licenses in Marblehead

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved recently-crafted BYOB regulations pertaining to carry-in alcoholic beverage licenses in Marblehead.

Get ready Marblehead, you may soon be able to bring beer and wine along with you when visiting properly-licensed local restaurants, thanks to a decision made by the Board of Selectmen Wednesday night.

At their meeting at Abbot Hall, board members unanimously approved the implementation of local BYOB regulations that they've hammered out over the last two months and paved the way for as many as five carry-in alcoholic beverage licenses in town.

The need for BYOB regulations was pushed to the forefront in September when Marblehead's new Mexican restaurant on Smith Street, Casa Corona, filed a request for permission to allow patrons to bringing along their own alcohol beverages.

Casa Corona representatives were on hand for Wednesday's meeting and were instructed by board members to stop by the Town Administrator's office at Abbot Hall Thursday morning to obtain a license application.

A timeline for when the restaurant could obtain a license was hard to provide, board members said, because this is the first time BYOB guidelines have been drawn up in Marbehead and it is unclear how long it will take to become official.

What You Need to Know About BYOB in Marblehead:

  • Approved alcoholic beverages will be limited to beer and wine only.
  • If a local business has been awarded a carry-in license, and a beer or wine license suddenly becomes available in town, that business doesn't necessarily have to apply for it.
  • The annual cost of the carry-in liquor license will be $400.
  • Alcohol can be brought in during a restaurant's regular business hours.
  • A BYOB license can be requested as soon as a Common Victualler's license has been awarded.
  • The Board of Selectmen can take away a license if they determine it is being abused
  • The Marblehead Police Department must sign-off on all applications.
  • The amount of alcohol each patron can bring with them will be regulated.
  • It is the responsibility of the restaurant to be sure patrons don't over-serve themselves.
  • If a drink isn't finished, it must be taken away in a sealed clear plastic bag.
  • Wait staff may not assist with alcoholic beverages unless they are over 21 and TIPS certified

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What do you think of BYOB in Marblehead? Is there a restaurant other than Casa Corona in Marblehead that you think BYOB would be a good fit for? Would you be willing to bring alcoholic beverages along with you?

Let us know in the comments section below

John Buba November 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM
This took way too long and $400 is an absurd amount of money for this right. Maybe Patch can ask the Selectmen to show us how this fee is justified? Remember a fee is not a tax. The fee must be backed up with a justification that there are real costs to the town that equal the fee for providing the service. Saying that "This is what another town charges" won't cut it. Remember what your mom told you: " If your friends are all going to jump off a bridge...."
o November 15, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Hi John: The Selectmen initially wanted to charge only $50 because they understood that the business owners wouldn't be making any money. It was at the recommendation of Town Counsel that they increased the amount. The costs associated, according to her, has to include the time spent by local officers policing the licenses and town officials making sure the guidelines are followed. She also pointed out that a 1-day liquor license in Marblehead (for events) costs $50. So charging a business $50 for an all-year BYOB didn't seem appropriate.
John Buba November 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Good info, but not the point. The selectmen need to show that there is an added cost to the town of $400 per license to justify the fee. The police are already on the street so there may be a minor INCREMENTAL cost to stop in the restaurant. And it does not cost hundreds of dollars to file the license. What is the REAL cost involved? It is up to the selectmen to prove that they need this much money. I predict they will have a hard time doing so, which is why the press should be concerned as well. Fees cannot be arbitrary; otherwise they are just a TAX. I have filed a FOIA request for the justification behind this fee. Will keep you posted on the progress or lack thereof.
ps November 15, 2012 at 06:48 PM
theres a reason they made nips.....always works for me..concerts,over priced restaurant drinks,,sporting events,,,just saying..
brent munroe November 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM
i agree 400 bucks seems a lot for a byob license.. Happy to hear they got the license though. We got take-out from there IT WAS GREAT!! Next time we'll bring some Coronas and eat in..

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