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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Final Call on the Zion Curtain

It looks like our old nemesis the Zion Curtain or as we like to say around here, the "Beer Burka" will likely be going the way of private clubs in 2017.  The bill, being proposed by Republican leaders in the House and Senate, would finally remove the architectural eyesores that prevent you and your impressionable children from seeing tantalizing drinks being made in Utah restaurants.

Now, before you get too excited - take into consideration that this is still Utah and that the "Utah Shuffle" (one step forward, two steps back) is still in effect. In order to get rid of this mistake that never should have been conceived of, we will have to entertain the following compromises.

•Increase training for servers in restaurants to prevent underage drinking, over-consumption and DUIs.
•Prohibit minors from being seated in an area around the bar.
•"Intent to dine," where customers must verbally state an intent to order food before being served alcohol would remain
•Maintain a requirement that at least 70 percent of a restaurant's sales be in food
•Liquor costs would go up. Right now, alcohol is sold at state-run stores at cost, plus an 86% markup. It will likely go up by one or two points.

Lawmakers claim that will generate some revenue to the state that will be used to pay for additional training. In my opinion more money could be generated by keeping the same 86% markup if the state decided to run the DABC as a legitimate business and not a anti-relgious burden imposed by Satan.

Of course, no legislation can become law without first being approved by Utah's true leaders on North Temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has repeatedly said it believes Utah liquor laws are fine how they are. However, they're comfortable with making these changes and the modernizing our liquor laws.

The Utah Restaurant Association said, "the devil is in the details" and it wants to see the bill, but believed the restaurant industry could comply with the terms of the deal. In an interview with Fox13 News - Melva Sine, the president of the Utah Restaurant Association said, "Based on we learned today in the overall aspect, those are things the industry can do,"

The bill is expected to be filed in the Utah State Legislature next week. Keep checking back for updates this and other alcohol related issue on Utah's Capitol during the Legislative session.


Source: Fox13 News
Image courtesy: Salt Lake Tribune


kent said...

Well those tradeoffs seem fairly innocuous. In fact the prevent minors being seated at or near the bar seems like a plus to me. It makes me think there must be something more draconian waiting in the wings. I'm leary of speculating for fear that it might give ideas to folks on the hill.

Shane in SLC said...

Kent beat me to my comment. Given that bars are the only places in Utah that aren't overrun with ill-behaved children, I'd regard extending the no-children rule to the bar areas of restaurants as a plus. The first bullet point might be inconvenient/expensive for restaurants, but extra training might also be a good thing, especially given that you still find servers enforcing rules that were repealed 10 years ago (e.g., making patrons slam their drinks before setting down the next one). It will be interesting to see what's in the actual bill, though.

Personally, I'd rather see the 3.2 beer law go first, but beggars can't be choosers...

KAGent777 said...

Where can I read a plain English summary of our Utah liquor laws? I was at a restaurant several weeks ago were the server would not give me second bourbon before I finished the first. I wanted to compare and contrast the two neat bourbons; not possible she said. Shane, you say this one has been repealed. I do not go out drinking often, so I did not know.


Dave Forsberg - Utah Real Estate said...

I wish they would slip in the end of the high point draft beer prohibition.

kent said...

KAGent777 I've never seen a good plain English summary of our laws. I've tried wading through the written statutes but it's beyond painful, and seemed to leave a lot open to DABC interpretation. If anyone does know of an easy to follow set of the laws that would be welcome.

Mikey said...

KAGent777 Servers will always side with caution and managers will likely have their backs. If you know your're right, I'd have a conversation with the manager and hope for a better outcome next visit.

KAGent777 said...

If I think about from the managers point of view, of course they would side with the server. They risk my wrath (not visiting again) or the fines of the DABC. I cannot fault they except that they are uninformed. I am not likely to return anyway because the food was mediocre, and while the whiskey selection was solid, it was overpriced in my opinion. Wikipedia nor the DABC site had no mention of the 1 drink at a time rule that I could find.

Mark said...

Last I knew (and that's been a while), you can't have 2 "spirits" in front of you.
You can have 2 beers.
You can have 2 wines.
You can have 1 beer and 1 wine.
You can have 1 beer and 1 spirit.
You can have 1 wine and 1 spirit. But 2 Spirits?!?!?!? Fuck NO!

Mark said...

Also, I hear that the DABC may change the grocery/convenience store and draft rule to something like 5%ABVolume or 6%ABVolume instead of 4%ABVolume(which is 3.2%ABWeight). Zion curtain will probably take all the bandwidth this year. Even if it is passed this year or next, it won't be implemented until the earliest 2019. Hold on to your butts.