Friday, November 30, 2007

South Salt Lake City Seeks to Remove Beer Bars

I ran across this story to, out of Utah, about the South Salt Lake city counsel's frustration with the plethora of beer bars - all 24 of them. Apparently, the city has a crime problem and we all know that there's a direct correlation between crime and beer bars... or not. Now, in general I don't care too much if any city wants to limit the number of beer bar licenses they allow. However, this is not the case.

In normal, thoughtful cities bar owners are allowed to transfer alcohol licenses when and if they sell their bar - I mean, that is the business. Right? This is the right thing today because anyone who has purchased the bar from a prior owner ponied up the money for the license.
A few years ago, the City Council capped those licenses at 15, hoping to trim the numbers as taverns folded. But the bars - including the mom-and-pop saloons on and near State Street - kept chugging along. Sellers simply transferred their beer licenses to bar buyers. Now the council, possibly as soon as next week, hopes to prohibit such transfers and thus, over time, slash the number of bars.
This, on the cover, is absurdity.
Anderson described South Salt Lake's resurrected push to thin out its bars as the next step of several to upgrade the city, cut crime and lighten the financial burden of excessive police and fire calls.
Then again, what do I know?