The Dunwoody City Council is poised to amend the city’s alcohol ordinance to clear up lingering confusion about bring your own booze, or “BYOB,” establishments within the city.

The proposed amendment to the ordinance, expected to be approved at the May 22 City Council meeting, creates a new limited pouring license, explained Finance Director Chris Pike at the council’s May 8 meeting.

Historically in Dunwoody, if a business was not selling or serving alcohol, a license was not needed, Pike explained. There is also a recent trend of businesses allowing customers to bring wine or beer is on the rise.

“That thought process has shifted over the years … and there are varying legal interpretations,” Pike said of retail businesses that are not bars or restaurants to allow a customer to enjoy a glass of wine while, say, taking a painting lesson. “It’s good to have some guidance on where council stands on this issue.”

The proposed new BYOB license would require a business applicant to pay a fee, still to be determined by the council, that would allow that allow clients or customers to bring their own bottle wine to a business and pour themselves a glass.

The business owner is not allowed to stock booze or serve alcohol, according to the proposed amendment. The specific kinds of businesses are not defined. Pike did explain that businesses that would quality for this kind of license include painting classes, pottery classes or cooking classes.

Pike said Sandy Springs, Roswell and the city of Atlanta have similar licenses. In Sandy Springs, only three businesses in the city qualify for “paint and sip” or BYOB type businesses and they are charged $125 for a license, $40 for a background check, and $275 total for a first-time application filing and advertisement.

Pike explained in a memo to the council that “this model is unique from other issues involving the alcohol ordinance and should be treated as such.”

“Mainly, at no point is the business operator buying, serving or otherwise providing alcohol to its customers. The customers would purchase the alcohol prior to arrival and the amount allowed would be limited,” he explained. The proposed ordinance would allow customers to bring an unopened bottle of wine or two unopened 16 ounce cans or bottles of beer.

Council members raised no serious concerns at the May 8 meeting. Councilmember Pam Tallmadge initiated the amendment after she was asked last year by the owner of Cyclebar Dunwoody to find a way for the business to serve free beer to customers after a work out.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.