From a liquor-consumption standpoint, there are three categories of restaurants here in Quebec.
1. Restaurants without a permit. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed at these establishments.
2. Restaurants with a permit to sell alcoholic beverages, aka licensed restaurants. These establishments purchase alcoholic beverages and sell them by the glass, carafe or bottle. With one tiny exception, they are not allowed to offer corkage (i.e. no BYOB).
3. Restaurants with a permit to serve alcoholic beverages, aka BYOs. These establishments cannot sell alcoholic beverages but can serve wine (and, if the restaurant so chooses, beer, sake and cider, though not spirits) that patrons bring. And while they aren't forbidden from charging a corkage fee, next to none do. BYOs are hugely popular here. There are hundreds in Montreal, including some with excellent food and fairly posh decors.
A translator friend is working on the program for a conference to be held in Montreal this summer. In it, she finds the claim that BYOBs are a "concept unique au Québec" (a concept unique to Quebec), which she suspects is untrue.
I know that Massachusetts allows BYOB at unlicensed restaurants. And Ontario opened the door to BYOB a few years ago (not exactly clear on the details, however). So there's her answer, I guess. But I'm also left wondering whether any jurisdiction other than Quebec has a separate licensing category for BYOBs or if that truly is a concept unique to this province. Does anybody know?
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