Restaurants like new rules, but don’t anticipate big changes

NANAIMO – Diners will now be able to bring their own bottle of wine to enjoy at certain restaurants.

Diners will now be able to bring their own bottle of wine to enjoy at certain restaurants, but local business owners are not anticipating a big change.

The province announced the new regulation last week, when it took effect. The change allows people to take a bottle of unopened, commercially produced wine into a licensed restaurant to consume with their meal, to be served in the same manner as wine selected from the menu.

Restaurants can choose whether to participate in the Bring Your Own Wine program and the change only applies to establishments with food primary licences.

Restaurants can charge a corkage fee and a standard 750 ml bottle must be shared by at least two people.

Thomas Robertshaw, co-owner of Acme Food Co. on Commercial Street, said it is common practice in many parts of the world and he will participate.

“If I don’t have a particular bottle of wine that people want, I’m happy to open it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be coming in droves.”

Robertshaw said the markup on wines at Acme is close to the corkage fee, so people won’t really be saving money, and he anticipates that people would probably only do it for special occasions like a wedding anniversary.

Mike Atherton, co-owner of the Firehouse Grill on Victoria Road, also plans to participate and charge a corkage fee if people want to bring in their own wine.

“If people don’t like your wine list, but they love your food, this way they’ll be able to come,” he said. “I think it will make people happier. Our wines are pretty cheap anyways. It’s not going to mark down their bill a whole lot.”

Atherton doesn’t think that people will choose to bring their own bottle too often – perhaps the odd special occasion such as a wedding rehearsal dinner where people want to sample a wine being served at the wedding or a wine that has special meaning to someone.

“I think this is more of a fine dining or big city thing,” he said. “I just can’t see it affecting us that much.”

Frank Naccarato, owner of the local Moxie’s Grill and Bar franchise, sees only positives in the new regulation.

“I don’t see it as a big difference – most of our wines are not marked up that much anyways,” he said. “It’s still a nice thing to have that ability, if you have a favourite bottle of wine. Our focus is always to give you value for your dining experience.”

Naccarato, who plans to charge a $10 corkage fee, said he can’t see too many people taking the additional step of stopping at the liquor store on their way out to dinner.

Just Posted

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes are off to a fast start this season after no competition last season due to the pandemic. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo athletes back on track, starting with club competitions

Nanaimo Track and Field Club registration filled up

A conceptual rendering of a commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith image)
Commercial plaza in north end of Ladysmith passes public hearing

Councillors debate proposed land use at 1130 Rocky Creek Rd.

The Nanaimo sign at Maffeo Sutton Park could be hazardous for children, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo sign will cause falls

Children can’t resist climbing on sign, says letter writer

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomy by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read