Well guess what. Yesterday the liquor-control commissioners gave out the last of the liquor licenses. Commission Chairman Sam Granato officially announced that the licenses in all three state categories were gone including:
- permits for bars to serve drinks without or without a meal,
- full-service licenses that allow restaurants to serve alcohol with meals.
- and limited-service permits that allow eateries to serve only beer or wine with an order of food.
Entrepreneurs who want a permit to serve wine, spirits or heavy beer must wait for population estimates to increase or existing establishments to go out of business.
The Utah legislature won't change the population requirement that would make more licenses available. State Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said ""it's not the right time for the Legislature to make changes to the state's license quota system".
House Speaker David Clark, R-Santa Clara, said if limiting numbers of liquor licenses significantly depresses economic growth, "we'll have another look" but that won't happen until next year.
Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, is sponsoring a bill that would lift caps for restaurant liquor licenses but he has acknowledged the measure lacks support, including that of the LDS Church. And as we all know, if the overlords don't like it - it gets squashed.
A new poll by The Salt Lake Tribune suggests that the legislatures view may not be aligned with their constituents. Utahans are nearly evenly split on easing quotas that would create more. Overall, 46 percent of those polled oppose altering the population-based quota system, while 43 percent want it changed so the state can grant more permits.
So if your a national restaurant chain looking to expand your business into Utah I'd have to say, "stay the fuck away from Utah, our leaders don't want you here"! Unless you want to play the LDS way. Too harsh? I don't think so.
-info: Salt Lake Tribune