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"Zion Curtain" Removal Bill Moves Out of House Committee

Brian Grimmett

A couple of alcohol related bills managed to make their way through House committees Wednesday including one that would eliminate Utah’s so-called “Zion Curtain.”

HB228 eliminates provisions in Utah law that requires restaurants to keep open liquor bottles and the actual mixing of drinks out of public sight. Republican Rep. Gage Froerer voted in favor of the bill. He says the current law is an unnecessary obstacle.

“We are hurting tourism. We are hurting business," he says. "I think most of us if we had the obstacles that in front of us for the business we operated that restaurants, dining clubs, anybody that serves alcohol with food in the state [do] we would long ago have passed meaningful legislation.”

Later in the day the House Business and Labor Committee unanimously supported Republican Rep. Curt Oda’s bill that allows beer wholesalers to transport individual containers of “heavy beer”, or beer with alcohol content greater than 4%, directly to restaurants and bars. With his vote in favor of the bill Republican Rep. Dixon Pitcher had only good things to say.

“There is no down side," he says. "It’s all positive. It’s all good. It makes for a better product, it’s expeditious, it saves money and I think it hopefully also possibly might mean a savings to the customer too, but I don’t know. Good bill.”

Currently the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control serves as a middle-man for heavy beer distribution and lacks the proper refrigeration storage needed which leads to poor quality product.

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