Starting today, it’s legal for bar or restaurant owners to sell their liquor licenses in Utah. KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the change is meant to keep transactions above board.
The Transfer of License Act was passed by the Utah legislature three years ago. The sponsor was Republican State Senator John Valentine, who says the idea was to stop the under-the-table transactions that often accompanied the sale of a business.
A restaurant near the University of Utah has closed, and a liquor license may be opening up. The Market Street Broiler shut its doors Monday, though it had only recently opened an oyster bar upstairs with a newly granted club license.
A report done for the Utah legislature shows the social problems associated with alcohol are decreasing. But the legislator behind the report says it would be hard to justify changes in Utah’s liquor laws based just on the report’s findings.
On the first day of the 2014 legislative session, Republican leaders in the Utah Senate say there is little support for changing Utah’s liquor laws this year— specifically those laws dealing with the so-called “Zion Curtain” and a requirement that restaurant patrons announce their intent to eat food before ordering alcoholic beverages.
A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says Utah’s liquor laws are just fine the way they are. But that may not stop further attempts to change them during the upcoming legislative session.