I was under the impression that if a place is not licensed, you are allowed to BYO unless the precinct has been "voted dry". While having a casual bite recently, at the "Clark's" on Belmont, formerly Melrose, a surly staff member grabbed our bottle of Rhone, explaining in broken english "illegal". Our waitress had seen the bottle, and brought us empty glasses as we requested.
Interestingly, a pair of cops in line at the register
agreed that it was most certainly not "illegal". One of them, however, opined that dark beer would have been a better match for our meal! I don't know if there was a religious objection, if they had trouble with rowdy kids, if it's because the owners are Albanian, or a general objection to outside condiments and beverages.
Does anyone have the true inside scoop on the regulations here?