West Springfield restaurants may allow BYOB, under new proposal

Mayor Will Reichelt says it will be good for business, keep the practice regulated

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield restaurants that do not have a liquor license may soon be able to allow patrons to bring their own beer or wine. Mayor Will Reichelt is proposing a new ordinance that would create a “BYOB” permit that restaurants could obtain.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Town Council President George Condon, III, Reichelt said that allowing a BYOB permit could be of benefit to restaurants that either cannot afford a liquor or beer/wine license, or cannot obtain one due to a lack of availability (the number of liquor licenses in each community is limited).

“In the end, the implementation of a BYOB ordinance is a financial stimulus program to further boost economic development,” the mayor wrote.

Reichelt also says that without an ordinance for a BYOB permit, some restaurant owners may see it as a “blanket authorization” to allow customers to bring in their own alcohol. The creation of a permit, therefore, would allow the town to regulate who does and who does not have that privilege.

Under the proposal, restaurants with BYOB permits would only be allowed to have customers bring in beer and wine- they would not be able to bring-in hard liquor. Customers who bring their own alcoholic beverages would also have to order food, and must be seated in an indoor dining area. Like those establishments with liquor licenses, restaurants with BYOB permits would also be responsible for ensuring that customers do not consume too much alcohol.

The permit would cost restaurants $500 each year, and the town’s License Commission would have the right to revoke the permit for any reason.

Reichelt told 22News that a public hearing will be held on the issue on October 11th.

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