Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BYOB KC

Two months ago, under the cloak of darkness, the KC City Council passed ordinance 11005 to amend Sec. 10-335 to remove subsection (1) of said statute.  So, because of the darkness under which the ordinance was passed activity (1) has been legal for 2 months, but no one knew it. Until, that is, the fabulous Ferruzza uncovered activity (1) and now KC restaurants are a BYOB party.

Ferruzza's article explicitly stated that bringing your own wine to an alcohol licensed restaurants was now allowed (corking fees may apply). What he didn't express was anything about beer or liquor. From my reading of the ordinance, beer and liquor can also be brought to restaurants. All restaurants retain the right to not allow you to bring your own booze and also retain the right to charge you for the privilege.

In grand Kansas City style, the ordinance has caught restaurant owners flatfooted so call ahead and make sure that the restaurant you desire to dine at allows you to bring your own. Based on the comments to Ferruzza's article the ordinance is a bit controversial in the restaurant community so many restaurants may simply refuse to allow you to bring your own bottle(s).

The ordinance leaves in place many of the laws that govern liquor licensees including many that were unknown to me. For instance, if you bring your own bottle of liquor (again, based on my reading, this is now legal) a restaurant cannot sell or give you a mixer (soda water, water, sour mix, etc.) to mix with your liquor and cannot allow you to mix your own drink. So if you're bringing a bottle of liquor, prepare to drink it straight. Employees of a liquor licensee can not solicit drinks in any way from customers, so if you bring an interesting bottle of wine or beer your server can't ask for a drink. Not only that, but even if you offer a drink, they can not take a drink of an alcoholic beverage.

The most disappointing restriction also still resides on the books,

I've always wondered why neither of the Matts at The Flying Saucer will dance with me. I used to take offense, but now I know, they're sticklers for Kansas City's liquor laws.

Now that it's legal, dig out your good bottles of Tank 7, Harvest Dance, Odell Avant Peche, Lagunitas Gnarly Wine, Stone Vertical Epics, etc. and get out and dine KC (unless you're a Johnson Countian because you're not welcome in KC anymore, besides BYOB's been legal in JoCo for a couple of years). We're no longer slaves to substandard beer lists among KC finer restaurants.

9 comments:

  1. Somebody should report the rest of the P&L. Employees in hot pants dancing all over the place.

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  2. That's funny Corey, the P&L is the city council's wet dream, I'm surprised the P&L doesn't have actual exemptions to all city liquor laws.

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  3. We had a great restaurant in De Soto that had no liquor license, and they'd let you bring in your own wine. There used to be a Mexican place in Lawrence that everyone would bring their own beer to. I'd feel like a tool bringing a bottle into a place that served liquor.

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  4. In KCMO, you can BYO only to establishments with a liquor license; in JoCo, you can BYO to places without one. Which has always surprised me given Kansas' backwards liquor laws.

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  5. The other item in Ferruzza's Fat City post is that only restaurants with existing liquor licenses can allow BYOB. That's a little strange to me, because I've always associated BYOB with little family-owned places that either can't obtain a liquor license or don't find them financially viable.

    Either way, I wonder how far this will go. Is this an opportunity for a few savvy operators to get the word out about their super-low beer corkage fees? A $20 fee might make sense for wine, but few will pay that for beer.

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  6. In Kanssas it isn't such a big deal because the restaurants buy their booze directly from liquor stores anyway. Restaurants without liquor licenses have done this for years in KC in spite of the law. The primary legal recourse the city has is to revoke their liquor license. They just set a couple of wine glasses on the table and look the other way.

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  7. While there are a great many restaurants who make me want to BYOB once I look at their beer lists, I just can't see myself ever doing it.

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  8. Every time I see you come in, I curse that "no dancing" clause of the liquor laws...

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  9. I knew it! Maybe next time we can sneak over to Tengo and get a quick dance in.

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