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Read this yesterday in a Delta Sky magazine. I can't link to it, so I'll just recap. It's short. I was wondering if any forumites had personal knowledge of this place?

Brown Bag Lady
by Ed Wetschler

Your waiter brings you the check, and you see that the wine you drank, along with the extra tax and tip it engendered, has doubled the cost of your meal. And it wasn't even a very good wine.
What to do? Go to a store, buy a really memorable bottle, and have it with your dinner at a BYOB-friendly restaurant. For some reason, Philadelphia has dozens of bring-your-own-bottle restaurants, which serve up sophisticated cuisine for a smart, hip and hungry crowd. And many don't even charge a corkage fee. Wouldn't life be swell if we had this sort of thing all over the country? Audrey Claire Taichman, who opened one of Philadelphia's first BYOBs in 1996, certainly thinks so.

Sky: Why did you open a BYOB?

Audrey Claire Taichman: To tell you the truth, I'd hoped to get a liquor license, but the process and the costs in Pennsylvania are so daunting that I had to open without it, and I figured I'd get the license later. Well, Audrey Claire was such a smash hit--a two-hour wait nightly--that I decided not to fix what wasn't broken.

Sky: Why was--and is--Audrey Claire such a hit?

ACT: The customers save money. In my other restaurant, Twenty Manning, which has a liquor license, we carry a bottle that I've had to mark up three times--and this is a bottle you can buy at any wineshop! That won't happen at a BYOB. Also, people want to choose their own wine and not be limited by a restaurant's selection. They like the casual atmosphere that you get when customers can walk in with paper bags. And they love our food.

Sky: You mentioned markups on beverages. Why are they so high in most restaurants?

ACT: It's not just the cost of the liquor license: Once you're carrying alcoholic beverages, the inventory is difficult to control. And every violation of state regulation costs you points. Honestly, having a liquor license at Twenty Manning is more likely to have me jump out the window than owning a BYOB.

Sky: Let's jump around the country instead: What other cities are ripe for some upmarket BYOBs?

ACT: New York, Washington, Chicago and San Francisco--and that's just for starters.

Sky: If I want to open a BYOB in one of those cities, what would I have to do to make this thing fly?

ACT: You have to pick a good location and be novel in some way. Hire a good chef, manage the staff well so you don't have much turnover--and make sure your tables do have turnover. Oh, and invite me to dinner.

Sky: Is there anything I should be sure not to do?

ACT: Yes: Don't put all your money into design.

Sky:Any advise for the customers who eat at my new BYOB?

ACT:I hope they'll leave their unfinished wine for the staff.

Sky: If a bunch of wine-drinking radicals in the Pennsylvania legislature suddenly made it easier for BYOBs to get liquor licenses, what would you do with Audrey Claire?

ACT: I'd keep it the same.
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used to do that in dallas

that little italian place

was it on knox? somewhere in there

no corkage

chocolate pasta

once i went into this place in the mission, sf

with a dozen half empty samples, good stuff

the retard waiter wanted to charge corkage for each bottle

i contributed an invaluable lesson to him

walked, scot free

i want phily

l.o.v.e. all i need's my...

chiron made me feel

I'm just reading this. I haven't eaten at Audrey Claire, but I have eaten at Twenty Manning, her non-BYOB place, and it was very good. There are BYOBs opening everywhere here now, in both the city and the suburbs, and most of them I've been to have been great. It is a nice development. By the way, none of the BYOBs I've been to charge corkage. That would kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn't it?
Originally posted by mneeley490:
Wow! Restaurants that encourage you to bring your own wine and don't charge you for it.

Did Philadelphia slip into some parallel universe? Confused

This is Bizzaro-World Philly.

Doesn't the chef know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful restaurant without gouging on wine?
1. You wouldn't bring your own steak, would you?
2. Fill in the rest of the 500 LAME excuses that poorly run restaurants give.

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