Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Home Eat & Drink Restaurant Group Begins Push

Restaurant Group Begins Push


Coinciding (coincidentally, I’m sure)  with the Governor’s Office’s report on DABC, the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association alerted its members to lobby for liquor law changes in upcoming legislative session coming at the end of January.

SLARA President and restarateur Joel LaSalle, above, has been meeting with legislators preparing the ground for a major push for liberalizing Utah’s liquor laws. “It seems that most everyone’s common priority is addressing the Zion Curtain, and we are told that the church representatives are open to discussions on that subject,” LaSalle wrote.

In an interview with Salt Lake magazine, LaSalle stressed that the Zion Curtain, far and away, is the issue uniting restaurateurs. The so-called Curtain is a seven-foot barrier that blocks customers’ view of bartenders mixing or pouring drinks. The Legislature feared seeing cocktails being concocted could lead to alcohol abuse.

LaSalle believes that, more than making the state look ridiculous to visitors, the Zion Curtain re-confirms the false impression “that you can’t get a drink in Utah” and is undercutting the state’s efforts to draw conventions and tourists.

Here’s the newsletter in its entirety:

Dear SLARA Members:

The board has been active in meeting with several interest groups and legislators from both the House and the Senate on the upcoming legislative session for movement on the current liquor laws. It seems that most everyone’s common priority is addressing the Zion Curtain, and we are told that the church representatives are open to discussions on that subject. Church priorities are underage drinking, alcoholism and drunk driving, and they are welcoming ideas from our industry that could help in any way on those issues.

Both the legislature and the church seem to feel an urgency in addressing our major issues, but I also know that any concessions they make will require concessions from our industry as well. For example, the grand fathering laws on liquor that go far beyond the Zion Curtain will probably go away- we’ll keep you posted on exactly what that means and how it impacts your businesses. In the meantime, we are hosting the lead Senate and House representatives for a lunch at Current Fish & Oyster to review the curtain issues, as well as storage (public view) that makes little sense to most of us.

Again, we will keep you posted as to our progress and whether we need SLARA members up on the hill to speak as independent owners to the legislature in support of our cause. We will also let you know if we decide to hire our own lobbyist for the upcoming session and how you can help us to support him/her in making as big an impact as possible for this session. Please respond to the SLARA email or Chantelle directly if any of you have any thoughts on how our industry could help the church in further supporting their goals in reducing underage drinking, alcoholism and drunk driving.

Happy Holidays,

Joel LaSalle


Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association

What’s your favorite park in Utah? ...

Our Jan/Feb issue is out on stands now! This issue means so much to us. Made with lots of love and tears. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it. ❤️ ...

Here's one from our upcoming Jan/Feb issue out on stands in just a few days. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it.⁠

Mary photobombs Lisa Barlow at the premiere party for Real Housewives of Salt Lake. Below is a snippet from Mary's last editor's letter:⁠

"It’s all a little crazy.⁠
Sometime in 2020, the world stopped making sense for a lot of us. Between one of the ugliest election cycles the U.S. has ever been through and the most mysterious disease most of us have ever experienced, normal was canceled. We can’t get together with friends, hug our loved ones, be in the room with them when they die. But somehow we have to go on, right? Somehow we have to continue to work and love and laugh. This issue of Salt Lake magazine holds a lot of frivolity, the main one being an extremely silly TV show, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. There I am in a pink fur coat in a car with our cover housewife, Lisa Barlow and her boys."⁠

Pick up our Jan/Feb issue at your local grocer and read the full letter. ❤️

Link in bio to subscribe.

We love you so much, Salt Lake ❤️⁠

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday. Be merry, be bright and be good for goodness sake! ✨

Skip the milk and cookies this holiday and leave out something that Santa really wants 🍺😉🎅⁠

Check out our local holiday beer round up for last minute gift ideas! Link in bio!

Mary's last-minute holiday gift ideas from last year are still as true and relevant today...⁠

"The planet we live with and the creatures on it need all kinds of things. Polar bears need presents, tree frogs in the Amazon need gifts, our Utah canyons and our national parks need help."⁠

Check the link in bio for full write up.

There was never a time there wasn’t Mary Malouf. Until now. Today, Mary died when a rogue wave swept her out to sea off the coast of Northern California. Only she – perhaps the world’s foremost lover of Bronte, BBC mysteries and, of course, Moby Dick – would appreciate such poetic drama.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” — Mary Brown Malouf. Ooops. Herman Mellville.