By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4) – A proposed law at the Colorado State Capitol could allow restaurantgoers to bring their own wine to some restaurants. Senate Bill 20-145, titled the “Bring Your Own Wine Into Restaurants” bill, would allow of-age customers to bring a 750mL bottle of wine in to a business with a hotel and restaurant license.

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Ryan Fletter, owner of Barolo Grill in Denver, said his business focuses on wine sales. He believed the bill would significantly impact his sales.

“We’re almost 50% food (sales), 50% wine. Which is pretty extraordinary,” Fletter told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “We don’t consider that reasonable. It definitely puts an impact on our ability to survive.”

The Colorado Restaurant Association did not provide an official stance on the proposal.

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Some suggested businesses could offset the loss of sales by enforcing a corking fee, which is allowed in some other states. A corking fee would charge the customer to open, and reseal, the bottle of wine they bring.

The bill does not address the issue of a corking fee, as written.

Some liquor companies, like Joy Wine & Spirits, say they could benefit from the bill.

Rules which forbid a customer from bringing their own bottle are indicated in the bill to include:

  • The customer has brought a container of vinous liquor into the licensed premises in the previous 24 hours;
  • The licensee or any agent of the licensee reasonably believes that the customer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • The licensee has ceased serving meals for the day or is preparing to cease serving meals for the day; or
  • The licensee reasonably believes that the customer has committed any of certain unlawful acts on the licensed premises

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kerry Donovan (D) of Vail told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas that she wrote the bill upon request from her constituents.

(credit: CBS)

Fletter said he believed the bill was unfair to those who already follow highly-regulated business rules from the FDA. He said, for example, it wouldn’t be conceivable to think of someone bringing their own masseuse or hair stylist to a day at a spa.

He also raised concerns that customers would also later ask to bring their own fish, steak or other product for the restaurants to cook and serve. He said, by following laws, his establishment is required to make sure their product meets standards. He believed, by allowing others to bring their own wine in to a restaurant, it could jeopardize the business’ chances of making sure quality is assured.

“We are responsible for what people consume,” Fletter said. “I think the laws in place right now are working beautifully well.”

Dillon Thomas


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