Liquor Commission to Discuss Possible Changes

Liquor Commission to Discuss Possible Changes

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State liquor regulators are scheduled to discuss possible changes to ease some of Utah's alcohol laws and hear public comments about new labeling for flavored malt beverages.

Commissioner Bobbie Coray said loosening the state law that limits what can be served over the bar at a restaurant is on the agenda for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission meeting Thursday, but will be postponed until commissioners can spend more time on it.

"That should be something we discuss and do right," Coray said.

The so-called "Zion Curtain" law keeps servers from passing food and drinks to customers over the bar at restaurants licensed to serve liquor and wine. Customers who have ordered food can be served at their table.

And bars are often lined with a clear, glass partition that does little to hide what is on the other side.

The law applies at restaurants only and certain establishments, including brewpubs, are licensed for over-the-counter service. At private clubs, bartenders are free to mix drinks and serve customers at the bar.

Earl Dorius, regulatory director for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said even if the restaurant law is loosened, it will not be lifted altogether.

"Certainly, we don't want to see restaurants become bars," Dorius said.

Thursday's meeting will follow a public hearing on how to label the alcohol content of flavored malt beverages, which are being restricted to state liquor stores and will no longer be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

The new rule was approved because the sweet-flavored beverages are popular with underage drinkers.


Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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