Friday, May 05, 2006

Screw You! - How Much it Costs to BYOB

[Update: 1/28/08--Due to numerous complaints that I only have expensive restaurants with high corkage fees on this list, I have tracked down a few moderately priced restaurants with free corkage. That's right, free corkage. If any of you readers know any other dining establishments offering free corkage, please let me know.]

Okay, I stole the title from this blog. But I like the idea so much, I've decided to create a list of corkage fees for Orange County Restaurants.

For those of you that do not know what a corkage fee is (from "a charge added at a restaurant for every bottle of wine served that was not bought on the premises"

For those of you that did not know what a corkage fee was -- you are probably now wondering why anybody would want to bring a bottle of wine to a restaurant. There are several reasons: most notably, the typical restaurant marks up their wine 2 1/2 to 3 times above wholesale prices. If you shop well, that makes your $20 bottle of wine from the Wine Club $50 to $60 in a restaurant. Also, especially here in the bubble, the wine list at said restaurant (that is charging you $60 for a $20 bottle of wine) may not be the greatest. For Nicole and I, we have a whole bunch of wine that we never drink unless we take it to a restaurant.

So on with the list, I expect this to be a long term project...please post any info you might have in the comments section. All prices are for 750 ml bottles, unless otherwise noted. The fees are only accurate since the last time I was there (or if I have another source listed, since it was last updated). Finally, if you'd like to get out of paying a corkage fee, offer a glass to your server...offer a few times until he or she takes you up on the offer. And really finally this time, many restaurants will waive a corkage fee if you buy a bottle from their list.

List of Corkage Fees for Orange County Restaurants

A Restaurant (Newport Beach) $10 (From the OC Register)
Abbondanza Italian Bistro (Newport Beach) $12
The Alley (Newport Beach) $12
Alvarado's Kitchen (Anaheim Hills) $10 (From the OC Register)
Ambrosia (Santa Ana) $10 (From the OC Register)
Avanti Cafe (Costa Mesa) $9.50 (As of 2/4/07)
Ayame (Irvine) $20 (From the OC Register)
Bambú (Newport Beach) $15 (From the OC Register)
Bandera (Cornona Del Mar) No Charge (As of 1/26/08)
Basilic (Newport Beach) $18 (as of 8/11/06)
Bayside Restaurant (Newport Beach) $15 (as of 1/24/08)
The Beach Pit BBQ (Costa Mesa/Tustin) $5 (From the OC Register)
The Beachcomber (Crystal Cove) $15 (As of 1/22/08)
Biggs (Long Beach) $10 (From the OC Register)
Black Sheep Bistro (Tustin) $0 (glasses rented at $2.50/stem--info from the website)
Blue Coral (Newport Beach) No corkgage; $10 if on the menu--I've heard the corkage has been raised to $20 (From the OC Register)
Blue Water Grill (Costa Mesa, Newport Beach) $5 (From; this website says to: "Bring your own glasses or call us to reserve--we only have limited Reidels (sic)".
Bourbon Street Bar & Grill (Fullerton) $12 (From the OC Register)
Buddah's Favorite (Newport Beach) $15
The Cannery (Newport Beach) $15; 2 bottle limit (As of 5/6/06)
Cafe Hiro (Cypress) $10 (From the OC Register)
Cafe R+D (Newport Beach) $0 (As of 7/5/08)
Cafe Tu Tu Tango (Orange) $10 (From the OC Register)
Cedar Creek Inn (Laguna Beach) $15 (From the OC Register)
The Cellar (Fullerton) $25 (From the OC Register)
Chakra Indian Cuisine (Irvine) $15 (From the OC Register)
The Counter (Irvine) $10 (From the OC Register)
The Crab Cooker (Newport Beach) $5 (From the OC Register)
The Crow Bar and Kitchen (Corona Del Mar) $20, 2 bottle limit; one corkage waived with each bottle purchased (as of 1/25/08)
Crystal Jade (Irvine) $10 From the OC Register.
Daily Grill (Newport Beach) $10 (As of 2/14/07)
The First Cabin (Newport Beach) $25 (From the OC Register)
Flight Bistro (Huntington Beach) $20 (From the OC Register)
Florentine's Grill (Fullerton) $10 (From the OC Register)
Forest (Laguna Beach) $15 (From the OC Register)
George's Greek Cafe (Belmont Shores--almost the OC) $10 (From the OC Register)
Green Parrot Cafe (Santa Ana) $9 (From the OC Register)
Harborside (Newport Beach) $15
Gulfstream (Newport Beach) No charge (As of 1/26/08)Il Farro (Newport Beach) $10
Hamamori Restaurant (Costa Mesa) $25 (From the OC Register)
Houston's (Irvine) No charge (As of 1/26/08)Infusion Restaurant and Martini Bar (Ladera Ranch) $20 (From theOC Register)
J. Tokyo (Westminster) $15 (From the OC Register)
Jack Shrimp (Newport Beach) $0 (As of 7/18/08)Kimera (Irvine) $15 (From the OC Register)
K'ya (Laguan Beach, Anaheim) $15 From the OC Register)
La Bettola (Yorba Linda) $15 (From the OC Register)
La Fondue (San Juan Capistrano) $15 (From the OC Register)
Landmark Steakhouse (Newport Beach [Corona Del Mar, but only if you live there]) $15 (From the OC Register)
Leatherby's Cafe Rouge (Costa Mesa) $0 (As of 1/12/08)Le Petit Paris (Huntington Beach) $20 (From the OC Register)
The Loft (Laguna Beach) $15--Limit one bottle per table (From the OC Register)
Mama Mia (Newport Beach) $10
Mario's by the Sea (Dana Point) $10 (From the OC Register)
Mastro's Steakhouse (Costa Mesa) $25 (From the OC Register)
McKenna's on the Bay (Long Beach--almost Orange County) $12 (From the OC Register)
Michael's on Naples (Long Beach) $20 (From the OC Register)
Modo Mio Cucina Rustica (Newport Coast) $10 (From the OC Register)
Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria (Anaheim)$15 (As of 10/25/07)
No Ka Oi (Huntington Beach) $10 (From the OC Register)
Newport Landing (Newport Beach) $15
Onotria (Costa Mesa) $25 (From the OC Register)
The Old Spaghetti Factory (Newport Beach) $10 (as of 1/1/09)
Oysters (Corona Del Mar) $15 for the first bottle, $25 for the second bottle--Magnums are $20 (As of 1/22/07)
Pangea (Santa Ana) $8 (From the OC Register)
Pinot Provence $0 (Never eaten here, but the entire Pinot chain is supposed to have free corkage)Port Restaurant/Bar (Corona del Mar) $20 (From the OC Register)
Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen (Anaheim) $10 (As of 10/25/07)
Rothschild's (Corona Del Mar) $20, 2 bottle limit (As of 1/23/08)
Roy's (Newport Beach) $15 (Not charged on 1/22/08)
Saphire (Laguna Beach) $20 (From the OC Register)
Savannah (Costa Mesa) $0 (From the OC Register)
Savoie's Fare (Laguna Niguel) $15 (From the OC Register)
The Spaghetti Bender (Newport Beach) $10 (As of 4/1/06)
SevenS (Tustin) $0 (From the OC Register)Shades (Huntington Beach) $15 (From the OC Register)
Silvera's Steakhouse (Huntington Beach) $25 (From the OC Register)
Spark Woodfire Grill (Huntington Beach) $8 (From the OC Register)
Stella's (Dana Point) $20 (From the OC Register)
Stonehill Tavern (Dana Point) $25 (From the OC Register)
Sweet Diva's (Brea) $15 (From the OC Register)
Taléo Grill (Irvine) No charge (From the OC Register)3-Thirty-3 Waterfront (Newport Beach) $35 (From the OC Register)
320 Main (Seal Beach) $15 (From the OC Register)
Tutto Fresco (Rancho Santa Margarita) $7 (From the OC Register)
Vue (Dana Point) $20--1 bottle limit (From the OC Register)
Waterfalls (Irvine) $10 (From the OC Register)
White Horses (San Clemente) $15 (From the OC Register)
Zov's Bistro (Tustin) $15 (Info from the website)
Zmario (Irvine) $12 (From the OC Register)


Anonymous said...

La Fondue is no corkage on Monday and Tuesday nights. This place is well worth going to!!

Michael Lasko said...

Wow, comments! I was afraid nobody was reading. Thanks for the info.

Has anybody clicked on that link at the bottom of the post? It goes to a website that is completely in German. I was going to delete it as spam, but then I tried Google translator, and I see that the author has a link to my page (my link to the translated page will probably not work):

WORD OF THE DAY (and/or yesterday): BYOB. This acronym stands for brings Your Own Bottle (or: Bring Your Own Beverage/Booze/Beer) and explains the behavior of some guests observed yesterday, who along-brought simply their own wine in the restaurant, which was opened there and served by the waiter. In some cities that is not only usual, but also necessarily, because not all restaurants have the license to the alcohol sales. However one pays then usually also a not completely insignificant corkage fee.

Tana said...

This should be a wiki. You could call it corkipedia. And generate a lot of ad revenue, buy that boat, quit your job (or not), and take frivolous trips to the Pacific Northwest.

Anonymous said...

great blog. i would suggest finding a way to either bold the $0 corkage places or list them additionally under $0 corkage. there seems to be a great trend of lowering or eliminating corkage at restaurants. thanks for pulling this together.

oh yea, memphis has no corkage on monday night.

Michael Lasko said...


munchies said...

Thanks for such an extensive list! We hate paying for insane corkage fees as well so we'll definitely keep this list handy.

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Anonymous said...

Orange Hill is $24