UPTON, Mass. – The Upton Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed recently they would not support “BYOB (bring your own bottle)’’ requests brought by local businesses.
In addition, the board asked Town Manager Blythe Robinson to develop a policy on BYOB requests.
A BYOB inquiry was made by Veronica Ramos who holds a common victualler license for V Organic Café located on Main Street.
In a letter to the board, Ramos said she wasn’t looking for a liquor license. “That is not a direction I anticipate, nor could probably afford,’’ she said.
Her hope is to allow customers to bring their own bottle to the café for a“Girls Night Out’’ she hosts and other events, such as birthday parties.
“There is a place in Newton, which offers these events with a BYOB policy, allowing patrons to bring in a bottle of wine. I’ve checked the Massachusetts codes/laws on BYOB policy and it appears as though it’s at the discretion of each individual town,’’ she wrote.
Selectman Robert Fleming said he feared setting a precedence and a “lack of control and regulation,’’ a fear Robinson said was shared by Police Chief Michael Bradley Jr.
Robinson noted that communities allowing BYOB do so because liquor licenses allowed them by the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) have been exhausted.
That isn’t an issue in Upton, she said, as the town has 10 all-alcohol and five malt and wine licenses.
“We have several establishments that paid large dollar amounts (for the license). It wouldn’t be fair to let others have it without the responsibilities,’’ she said.
Selectmen James Brochu agreed. “We have licenses available to issue. It’s prudent to have the applicant go through the process,’’ he said.
Selectmen Chairperson Kenneth Picard made it unanimous. It’s something the board could look at again when licenses are available, he said, “but I’m not willing to go forward with it at this time.’’
Administrative Assistant Sandra Hakala stressed the need for a policy, noting communities “silent” on the issue make it OK.