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Town Asks for Public's Feedback on BYOB Policy

The Board of Selectmen holds a public hearing to discuss the BYOB policy for Northborough.

With the exception of restaurants or clubs that may open at Northborough Crossing, the final all-alcohol licenses are currently claimed by town establishments with the exception of two malt and wine licenses.

The BYOB policy has been debated at the last two Board of Selectmen meetings, and the town has also shared a proposed draft of provisions that would apply if Northborough chooses to allow BYOB.

Currently, BYOB is allowed, but Coderre said it was an appropriate time to either leave the policy as is, draft a new policy, or ban BYOB in the town.

As part of the process of discussion, the Board of Selectmen is holding a public hearing on Monday, Nov. 19, at 7:15 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall.

"The purpose of the session is to provide an opportunity for the public to provide input regarding a proposed policy for a “Carry-In Wine & Malt (BYOB) Permit," wrote Jeff Amberson, the board's clerk, in the notice.

A copy of the proposed policy is on file in the Town Clerk’s Office.

The current draft, provided BYOB continues to be allowed, would require that establishments limit the amount of alcohol that is carried in, that BYOB would only be allowed at restaurants with a waitstaff, that the waitstaff be TIP certified and the establishment must undero go a due diligence manager background check conducted by the police department.

"We can do nothing, and it is allowed currently," said Coderre "Or, we can decide what is allowed, or prohibit BYOB altogether."

Board members, initially, have varied opinions on the BYOB policy in town.

Selectman Dawn Rand argues that allowing BYOB puts the establishments who have already obtained a license at a disadvantage.

"My thought is to prohibit it," she said.

Amberson added, "I don't see a huge rush of people wanting to do this. But I am not convinced that it would put others at a disadvantage."

The public is encouraged to attend, or submit their feedback to the board members.

Michael Healy November 19, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I think BYOB should be allowed. El Forno's restaurant is a perfect example of great food with a BYOB policy.
Helen Holden November 19, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I don't drink, so my comment is a bit irrevelent. But I feel that there enough places intown if one wants to drink. There are too many cars stopped for people having too much to drink and driving dangerously. Have a nice cup of hot tea.
Fran November 19, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Actually the "disadvantage" would be on the establishment that wants to do business in Northboro and there are no licenses available. If we are serious about attracting business to town, then BYOB should be allowed as liberally as possible. Many adults want the option of an adult beverage during their meal. My 87yr old father would never think of having dinner without a glass of wine. It doesnt matter if the food is fantastic or not, if you, as an over 21 yr old, want to pair it with a good wine, you should be able to. Responsible people drink responsibly regardless of who is pouring.
ET November 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I agree with Fran. A new restaurant that cannot obtain a liquor license because they are not available, should definitely have the option of a BYOB policy. Otherwise, restaurants are going to be looking elsewhere to set up business. From the establishments I have seen with BYOB, most people bring in wine or beer...we are not talking about a lot of hard liquor being brought into the business. Personally, BYOB, makes for a cheaper night out too!
Ron Goodenow November 20, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I agree with Fran, but my fear, partly in jest, is that our fearless Morality Enforcer will hoodwink the BOS to require signs that say something like "Parents Beware, Children Entering This Restaurant May See Neighbors Consuming Demon Rum". And then require it of all restaurants with bars. Honestly folks, our town is on its way to being a national embarrassment (eg. today's front page story in the T&G; (http://www.telegram.com/article/20121119/NEWS/111199908/1116) the comments of which are telling, as are references to our Enforcers use of religion to defend his views). I have just flown across country and I looked down and really felt proud to be an American because we have defeated so many guys who not only mess with womens' heads and bodies but would take us back to prohibition. But the topic here is BYOB. Of course, let establishments which serve dinner stick with the current policy and if some criteria need to be established for staff I could live with that. But this could easily veer off into nonsense. It is good the BOS solicits opinion and if they had done that on the belly dancing fiasco maybe it would not have been one. But they have to rebuild a lot of trust. Oh, and I like to have some demon rum with my dinner. That said I would far prefer that we were so liberal with bar licenses that good restaurants could make a far better drink than I can by slipping and sliding my way into a package store. Oh, and the list of good restaurants in town would just get longer.

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