Any new or recent lists of corkage prices around town?

Some time ago, there were a couple of published lists of the various corkage prices charged by restaurants, with perhaps an emphasis (rightly so) of restaurants that charged no, low, or reasonable corkage prices. Does anyone know of a recent list? Thank you.

There’s a very clear correlation between low to no cork fee and food quality. Unless they’re ethnic shops

1 Like

Pretty false statement here.

Providence no corkage on Monday.

on aggregate.

also when food costs same as mortgage a $20 corkage makes no difference

1 Like

Assumption 1: Food costs same as mortgage.

Corkage friendly restaurants know that some if not many diners will make decisions based on corkage and that’s why they keep it low. Lower corkage results in more patrons.

Not to rehash every single corkage discussion that ever was, but assumption 2 is that if the patron doesn’t bring wine they’re going to pay 3x markup on wine or cocktails. Not true. Many just opt for water or 1 beer at $6. Then you lose corkage and patrons at the same time.

Corkage is in place for those that bring $20 bottles and want them to be serviced. There is a cost to washing, cleaning, and potential breakage of stemware. And maybe that’s why corkage is so high at these new hip restaurants. I see a lot of people talking about and bringing $20 bottles to save money. I’m okay paying $25-30 a bottle to support a restaurant’s business model to discourage this practice.

It’s the bottle limit per party regardless of how large the party that gets me :wink:

My opinion of corkage fees has changed over the years. Years ago, I questioned why restaurants needed to charge a fee and $15 per bottle seemed unreasonable. Now, I understand the need for a fee, and $15 seems reasonable, but do feel the cost has in many cases become unreasonable. I was at a restaurant last Friday where the cost was $35 per bottle for the first 3, and $50 for bottles thereafter.

I do agree that the type of food, and overall cost of the food, make the question of what is “reasonable” a moving target. Also the cost of the wine may be a factor. If you’ve paid (and I focus on “You” because I would never pay that kind of money), say $500 for a bottle of wine you are taking to dinner, $35 may be an insignificant cost. (Of course, if you’re buying $500 bottles, it is probably insignificant regardless). But other than on special occasions, I usually take a bottle of $20 wine, and paying $30 or $35 for my $20 bottle of wine bugs me (though not as much as going to a good but not great restaurant and having to pay $15-$20 for a decidedly mediocre glass of wine.)

I would like a list so I can decide. I will say in line with Porthos that what a restaurant charges, has, at times, been a determining factor in deciding where to go, if we are uncertain. At least I know that I will have a good bottle even if the food turns out to be underwhelming, and though it may be silly, we have chosen a place if it has a corkage fee or $10 rather than $25. I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

your idea of “reasonable” notwithstanding

the whole point of charging a corkage fee of $30 to $35 for serving your $20 bottle of wine is to discourage customers from doing what you want to do.
the owner of the restaurant is telling you, nicely, in an indirect fashion, to please take your business somewhere else.


I think the owner is telling you the cost of maintaining a decent cellar is not cheap and he has built the sale of wine into his business model. It’s not that he does not want your business. He wants more of your business in dollars so that his enterprise will thrive.

Recent list:


Which restaurant was this? I would consider this a reasonable restaurant depending on the caliber of the food and the popularity of the restaurant.

Many in town are doing a 2 bottle max which is a non starter most of the time for our wine group.

VACA all the way in OC is doing $25 for the first two then $10 for each subsequent which could end up being the most expensive corkage in town after Urasawa depending on how many bottles you bring.

Hillstone Group restaurants used to be my go to with my own bottle of Rose, back when they didn’t offer Rose Wine. Now they charge corkage, and they serve Rose. I believe they don’t charge corkage if you dine at South Beverly Grill and purchase your wine at their next door wine bar.

any owner would reasonably want to have a customer base that will pay enough to cover all the fixed costs of the restaurant.

customers that are trying to avoid paying enough to cover all the costs (both fixed and variable) AND then some more for profit, are not valuable to the restaurant.
customers that don’t pay their freight (fixed costs, variable costs, and profit), are also normally associated with high opportunity costs.

best to get them to go to someone else’s restaurant and take up someone else’s table at prime time.

1 Like

I have to disagree with you there. And I hope for restaurants everywhere that you are wrong.

If you are right that my objection to being charged $35 for my $20 bottle is the restaurants nice way of telling me to go somewhere else, even more restaurants that presently fail, are doomed to fail. Believe me, they want me, or should want me, wine or corkage notwithstanding. I eat well, buy expensive items on the menu, tip well, and my credit card doesnt’ bounce. What if I don’t bring my bottle and just order water like my wife? You’re telling me they don’t want my business? You may now have hit the head on why so many restaurants go out of business and should go out of business. Restaurants are not bars; they should be able to live on the food side, though of course make money on the liquor side as well. Charge enough for the meal, and charge what you want for your wine, but if you don’t want my business unless I buy your mediocre overpriced (4-5 cost) wine, SEE YA and you will soon be seeking the next naïve investor to support your next hopelessly doomed location.

Thank you!!

I feel this is why corkage has gone from $15-20 a bottle to $25-35 a bottle.

At $5-10 a stem,the stemware exceeds the cost of the wine in those instances and that’s where the restaurant can lose money from broken glasses.

Now if restaurants in the US wouldn’t price wines 2.5-3x and would do 1.3-1.5x like Europe used to do then people wouldn’t feel compelled to BYO.

Having said that, many of the high end restaurants in Europe and the rest of the world has quickly learned and is now also 2-3x and they typically do not allow corkage period.

1 Like

I was eating at a decent Italian place in Mumbai and had what I thought was a very drinkable French red.

I later found out the bottle had a 10x markup O_O

Balla!! :wink:

Markup is usually the most severe for the <$20 retail bottles.

The expensive ones can be retail pricing or less even today at the top restaurants around town.


got four words for you:
french wine in russia.

{drops mike}

Who is breaking all these glasses? I’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants. I’ve drunk a lot of wine. I’ve never broken a glass. I’ve tipped a glass over. I’ve found a pre-existing crack in a glass. But neither I nor any companion has ever broken a glass. Is this a washing thing?