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More than two dozen restaurants across the state rushed to tear down their much-maligned "Zion Curtain" barriers Saturday, the same day a new law took effect that loosened Utah's controversial liquor-dispensing requirement.

As of midday Friday, 26 restaurants had been inspected and approved by the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to be barrier-free, said spokesman Terry Wood.

Stoneground Kitchen, Current Fish and Oyster, and Rye Diner and Drinks, all in Salt Lake City, as well as Bandits Grill and Bar in Cottonwood Heights, were among the first to tear down the barriers, Wood said.

Current had its glass Zion Curtain down — and shattered — by midmorning. Immediately afterward, owner Joel LaSalle and general manager Andrew Cliburn celebrated with a toast of champagne.

More will follow in the coming weeks with the DABC working on another 33 applications for removal of the barriers, which were designed to keep minors from seeing the dispensing and pouring of alcoholic beverages.

Before making changes, restaurants need to be approved by the DABC to ensure that new alcohol-dispensing areas meet state law, Wood said. Making a change without approval could result in fines or loss of a liquor license.

Under the new provision, restaurants now have several options. They can choose to keep the 7-foot barrier; create a 10-foot buffer from the bar where minors are not allowed; or build a half-wall or railing that creates a delineation between the dining and liquor-dispensing areas.

All restaurants will have to implement one of the dispensing-area options, even older restaurants that were previously exempted from the Zion Curtain mandate because they were serving alcohol before 2009, when it was enacted.

Restaurant owners have until July 2022 to comply with the barriers and designated dispensing-area rules.