Molly Jacobson

Editor of the second best-selling guidebook to MauiTop Maui Restaurants, Molly has called Maui home since 2005.


  1. karen
    August 10, 2012 @ 11:46 am


  2. karen
    August 10, 2012 @ 6:09 am

    I’m confused. There is a small Thai restaurant in Lahaina, tucked away , that has always allowed us to bring in wine and never charged a corkage fee. I believe they did not- do not, have a liquor license. Is that the reason we are able to byob in that restaurant. Also, what is the rule as far as resorts and their restaurants. Also, we have never been able to take our wine poolside at the Westin Villas. Has that changed?
    Can we actually byob into our poolside cabana or are we still required to purchase from the poolside bar?

    • Molly Jacobson
      August 10, 2012 @ 9:44 am

      Hi Karen,

      That restaurant is one of our favorites, too.

      Restaurants which do not have a liquor license have always been able to offer BYOB (corkage) to their patrons. Some do, some don’t. The Commission’s main goal seems to be that the alcohol being consumed has been purchased from a license-holder (see the image of the amendment, below). As for a corkage fee, how much a restaurant charges for their services is not regulated. Some places charge a fee, others don’t.

      As for licensed resorts and their restaurants, they now have the option to offer you corkage, but they don’t HAVE TO offer it to you. This is what has upset some restaurants (and certainly the hotels), and the seeming ultimate reason for the failed appeal. It used to be that if you were a license holder, the County didn’t allow outside alcohol into your establishment (see the first section of the statute below, the part that is not underlined).

      Before March of this year, if you asked to bring your own bottle to a restaurant that holds a liquor license, the restaurant could tell you “No, it’s illegal, and we’d lose our license if we allowed you.” The County was the bad guy, and the restaurant wasn’t to blame for your disappointment. Now that corkage or BYOB IS an option, the restaurants have to decide for themselves whether you can bring your own bottle. This puts the onus on them, and they no longer have the County as the bad guy. It’s THEIR policy. Whether they offer you corkage, and whether you get charged a corkage fee for the privilege, is entirely in their hands.

      As for pool areas, I am NOT a lawyer, so I am not sure whether I am correct in my reading of the amended statute, below, but only certain classes of licenses can offer corkage. I don’t know if pool bars are licensed separately from other restaurants on the premises, or if the resort as a whole has one liquor license that regulates all of their areas.

      Here’s a screenshot of the amendment in question. The parts that are underlined are the new additions.

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