Do I have to order food to get drunk here? Soon I’ll know.

Deseret NewsComing soon to Utah restaurants that serve alcohol: Signs that say they are not bars.

And coming soon to Utah bars: Signs that say they are not restaurants.

The state alcohol commission approved the signs Tuesday to comply with a new state law requiring those establishments to clearly tell customers what they are.

“A restaurant is a restaurant and a bar is a bar, never the twain shall meet,” said commission Chairman John T. Nielsen, adding there has been confusion over that in the past.

First of all, possibly the most Utah quote of all time from State Drinking Czar John T. Nielsen. Hey John, ever heard of a “Bar & Grill”? No? Ever seen a Chili’s sign, John?

Of course, this distinction would be completely meaningless if it wasn’t for one of my least favorite Utah rules I’ve discovered since taking up residence here — that some seemingly random establishments require you to order food if you plan to order booze. Up until now, those places have done nothing to distinguish themselves.

Which brings me to my overall point, which is that as stupid as this is going to sound I AM A HUGE FAN OF THESE UGLY ASS SIGNS. Now I will know before I even walk in the door whether I will have to order a four-dollar chips and salsa in order to get what I really want — the weakly poured margarita. More importantly, I won’t even walk in the door at all.

I assume Czar Nielsen’s reasoning for the signs comes from the completely opposite standpoint — can’t have the teetotalers in the same room as the degenerates, so we’ve got to let them know where the drunks will have to get food and act somewhat civilized if they want to get their buzz on.

Finally, just want to touch on the equally asinine quote at the end of the story from Michele Corigliano.

Restaurants don’t have a big problem with having to put up the signs, said Michele Corigliano, executive director of the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association.

“I’d like to get on the bandwagon against this, but I don’t think it is as bad as it could be because it gives people all across Utah the opportunity to know what they’re walking into,” she said.

Why don’t you just say what you really mean — “I like to be a pain in the ass and push back against everything, but this isn’t a big deal because it’s simply a piece of paper on a window that actually might help consumers so I guess I’ll let it go.”


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