B.C. restaurants reveal participation in Bring Your Own Wine; ministry confirms no cap on corkage fee
Following theannouncement Thursday (July 19) that diners at participating B.C. restaurants will now be allowed to bring their own bottle of wine to have with a meal, a handful of restaurants across the province have already indicated that they will be participating in the program.
NOVO Pizzeria , Gramercy Grill, The Cascade Room, Habit, El Caminos, Burnaby’s Romana’s Pizza, and Kelowna’s Ricardo’s Mediterranean Grill have announced their participation in the Bring Your Own Wine program but have not disclosed a corkage fee. Meanwhile, Fray on Fraser, Chambar , Le Parisien, Via Tevere Pizzeria, West, and Burnaby’s Cotto Enoteca have indicated that they will be charging a corkage fee in the range of $5 to $50.
“There’s no cap [on the corkage fee] because it’s voluntary,” Sandra Steilo, public affairs officer for the Ministry of Energy and Mines—the ministry overseeing the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch—told the Straight by phone Friday (July 20).
Steilo also confirmed that the ministry will not be releasing an official list of participating B.C. restaurants and that it will be a restaurant’s responsibility to declare its participation in the program.
According to the policy directive announcing the amendment to the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation affecting food-primary restaurants, participation is up to individual restaurants with valid liquor licenses, and restaurants are not required to seek approval or provide notice to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch that they are participating.
Additionally, bottles of wine brought by customers must be unopened and commercially produced, and customers must hand bottles to a restaurant staff member upon entering the restaurant. Customers will be allowed to take away unfinished bottles of wine; however, restaurant staff are required to remind customers who are driving to store opened bottles of wine behind the rear seat of the car.
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