RI juggles its by-the-bottle interpretation

From the Providence Journal
PROVIDENCE, RI -- The Rhode Island state liquor regulator has reversed a longstanding interpretation of the law on selling a bottle of distilled spirits in a bar or nightclub.

A whole bottle may be sold for on-premises consumption, according to a recent order by the state Department of Business Regulation, which oversees liquor licenses.

The order notes, however, that the drinks must be poured by a "certified server."

City of Providence officials say it is a misinterpretation and that the city will sue to stop its enforcement. The city's licensing board has been cracking down on the practice.

"Bottle service," as the term generally is used, refers to the sale of a whole bottle of a distilled spirit, usually in a nightclub's VIP section. Clubs often require the purchase of a bottle as a prerequisite for VIP seating.

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