Pre-meal booze

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Utah liquor cops clamp down on drinks before food" (Tribune, Jan. 10):

My wife and I were victims of the latest Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control crackdown on restaurants serving alcohol. We patronized a favorite eatery; the place was busy, about a 45-minute wait for a table.

"We'll just wait in the bar," I offered.

"I can't serve alcohol unless you have a food order 'in the system,'" the bartender said.

I know Utah's alcohol-only-with-food requirement, but what's this? It was a 45-minute wait, and we wanted cocktails while we waited!

"We'll have the shrimp," I said, putting an order in the system. "But don't bring it. We have no place to eat it." Remember, we were standing in a crowded bar.

Another couple ordered drinks, but they ran afoul of the food/alcohol Catch 22. They can have their drinks when their table is ready. (Aha! The restaurant just lost a sale, probably the point of these rules.)

This crackdown by the great minds at DABC was to solve a problem that doesn't exist, created consternation where the experience should be enjoyable, befuddled servers and patrons alike, caused restaurants to lose revenues and made Utah look stupid … again!

Terry Johnson