After speaking with City of Las Vegas Attorneys, City of Las Vegas Business Licensing Enforcement personnel, Clark County Attorneys, and numerous individuals at both the wholesale and retail level of wine purveyance, Eating Las Vegas has come to these ten conclusions about corkage fees for persons wishing to bring their own wine to restaurants:
1) The City of Las Vegas considers it illegal and will cite any establishment (for a violation of their liquor/wine license) that allows persons to consume a bottle of wine on a restaurant premise not purchased at that place of business. However, the enforcement of this prohibition has been spotty and selective at best.
2) Restaurants in the City of Las Vegas, i.e., any place located north of Sahara Avenue, are not unhappy about this ruling.
3) Consumers have almost no clout in this fight because the number and fortitude of those protesting such restrictions is small and not exactly a sympathetic bunch.
4) Restaurants in the City of Las Vegas can feign sympathy for their customer’s plight, but are quietly smiling for not having to put up with corkage abuse (e.g., people who buy a $10 bottle at Albertson’s to drink with their dinner).
5) Clark County (i.e. The Strip and all locations south of Sahara Boulevard), couldn’t care less, and has no corkage/anti-corkage policy on its books or in its gun sights.
6) If you want to feel free to bring your own, special bottle of wine into a restaurant, either: a) do it in a place where you are a regular customer (where they will discreetly allow it), or b) do it south of Sahara Boulevard.
7) Along those same lines, if the bottle is old enough, rare enough, expensive enough or special enough, most good restaurants will allow you to consume it on the premises. However, Eating Las Vegas has no idea how the Cheesecake Factory or a place like this, deals with the issue.
8) The issue is not one of charging corkage for the consumption of the bottle, but rather, whether it is lawful to allow consumption of alcoholic beverages on licensed premises that were not purchased from those licensed premises. On this the City and the County have no uniform policy.
9) This is hardly the last word on the subject, but after scratching around for more than 6 months to get to the bottom of these inconsistent enforcement positions, it’s the best we can do. Anyone who has or knows of any information to the contrary should feel free to contact us.
10) People get the government they deserve. – Votaire.