WASHINGTON - It could cost you more to bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner at a D.C. restaurant after new alcoholic beverage regulations take effect Wednesday.
Businesses now can set their own corking fees — a convenience charge for those who bring their own wine to establishments such as restaurants, hotels or nightclubs. With the new regulations, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board eliminated its per-bottle $25 cap on corking fees.
Under the new regulations, ABC-licensed businesses can set their own fees as long as the cost is disclosed to the patron before a bottle of wine is opened.
Not all restaurants are required to offer the bring-your-own-wine service. Some businesses may use the fee as a deterrent to those who want to bring their own wine, as it may take money away from the business and its wine wholesalers.
The previous $25 cap was intended to cover the cost of service and glassware, according to The Washington Post.
Another new regulation allows businesses in the process of getting a liquor license to apply for a temporary license, which allows the business to sell alcohol in the meantime. The temporary license, however, requires a sign-off from the business's Advisory Neighborhood Commission and payment of a $100 fee.
Some additional grocery stores in D.C. also could have alcohol on the shelves because of the new changes. For a grocery store to be considered eligible to sell beer and wine, it needs to sell a full line of defined food products and dedicate a specific amount of square-footage to the sale of the food products.
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