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06.2008

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

BOSTON CRACKS DOWN on BOTTLE SERVICE

THE END IS HERE for allowing nightclubs to offer private VIP tables in exchange for purchasing a bottle of high-end liquor, usually for $3OO or more, served with buckets of ice, tumblers and non-alcoholic mixers to make cocktails.  
Boston Licensing Board Chairman Daniel Pokaski says the service violates state and city alcohol laws. “This is totally prohibited and it won’t be tolerated,” Pokaski said. “It’s not going to happen in Boston. It’s just wrong. It forces alcohol consumption.”
Pokaski said the practice violates so-called “happy hour” laws that ban serving more than two drinks at a time to a patron. A letter will be sent to club owners putting them on notice that the service is banned, he added.
But some club owners argue that bottle service is a legal and expected perk in any major city – one that makes owners money and keeps customers happy.
Pokaski argues that because bottles are so expensive, customers inevitably finish the entire bottle, a practice he said that conflicts with a citywide crackdown on trouble-plagued clubs and an effort to cut down on customers being overserved.

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