Brookline Mulls Alcohol Changes

Proposed regulations that allow restaurant goers to bring their own alcohol and better define how licenses are transferred were discussed at the latest Board of Selectmen meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8., according to wickedlocalbrookline & the Brookline Tab.

The changes are being proposed for the town’s alcoholic beverages regulations and food sales regulations, and most of the revisions were characterized as “technical corrections” by Selectmen Chairwoman Betsy DeWitt.

Nonetheless, some businesses voiced concerns over a few of the regulations.
Adam Barnosky, an attorney in Brookline, said some license holders were concerned about the new 10 a.m. designated start time to serve alcohol, since some businesses have served drinks earlier for special occasions, such as one business that showed a Red Sox game in the early morning when the team was playing in Japan.
He said Coolidge Corner Clubhouse also opens at 9 a.m. on Saturdays.

Selectman Dick Benka said businesses could petition the Selectmen to serve alcohol earlier if they wish.

Associate Town Counsel Patty Correa said the revised liquor regulations seek to enhance alcohol training requirements, as well as require the use of a “crowd manager” at some businesses, at the behest of the Fire Department.
The food regulations include a section about BYOB, namely that businesses without a liquor license can offer it.
However, those businesses would not be able to offer a corkage fee because that constitutes a sale, said DeWitt. A corkage fee is commonly charged by businesses that offer BYOB and it allows a customer to consume an alcoholic beverage onsite. The fee refers to the act of uncorking a bottle, which the restaurant employees do. Corkage fee prices vary depending on the establishment.
The BYOB regulations make it clear to restaurants that they cannot permit the consumption of alcohol by minors at the restaurant, and cannot permit drinking by someone who is intoxicated, among other rules.
Selectwoman Nancy Daly was in favor of the corkage fee, arguing that by not allowing businesses to charge for uncorking, that many would decide to not offer the service.

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