In their all-too-familiar passive-aggressive style, Utah lawmakers are on the verge of ridding our state of private clubs, while at the same time engineering truly mystifying stipulations and asinine qualifications. As usual, the Legislature giveth with one hand and taketh with the other. Read the fine print.
Since Utah lawmakers' constituents can't be trusted to behave responsibly around alcohol if they actually see it, new restaurants in the State will be required to have a special area for mixing drinks, separate and out of the view of customers. Ever see the movie Cocktail? Well, it couldn't be filmed in Utah thanks to the new "mix pit" regulation. Nor could 007 witness his martini being shaken, not stirred, here in Zion.
One of the joys of imbibing (my apologies to those of you who have never seen a cocktail being made) is watching a great mixologist -- a true artist -- perform behind the bar. Witnessing a talented bartender mix a perfect martini or float layers of liqeuers in an exotic cocktail is one of the things we tip them for. By hiding these performances away from the viewing public, aren't we also jeapardizing a restaurant bartender's right to making a living?
On the other hand, maybe there's an upside to the incredibly moronic mix pit idea, especially remembering that Utahns around alcohol turn into untrustworthy, savage beasts. For instance, in the mix pit and out of the sight of UDABC gumshoes, bartenders might just be tempted to pour a double shot now and then for customers. Or perhaps, even take a nip themselves while on duty. My guess is the Utah Legislators didn't think the whole mix pit thing through thoroughly enough or they'd have mandated surveillance cameras to monitor those devilish, deceitful bartenders.