Someone Call Hell & Check the Temperature

Maybe the former name of the blog is appropriate here because I’m starting to wonder if there’s a snowstorm brewing somewhere. There’s a newspaper column calling for less nanny-statism.

The story starts by highlighting a bar owner who isn’t quite making the minimum amount of revenue on food at this Roanoke bar. He has shown the bureaucrats overwhelming evidence that he has tried various marketing efforts to get food sales up enough to keep his mixed drink liquor license, but it just hasn’t hit the magic number yet. His license is being suspended, and he’s paying a fine for the “crime” of not selling enough food.

Back in May, I suggested that Markell create a new menu item: the $1,000 bologna sandwich entree, with sides of sliced beets and sauteed rutabagas. Markell could buy one for himself every time he needed a little boost to get over the food-sales hump.

Markell agrees that baloney is a fitting metaphor for many of the ridiculous regulations liquor licensees have to follow. But he has a more radical idea.

Why not simply let a bar be a bar?

“They keep saying Virginia has a great business environment, but if you want to have a neighborhood bar, that’s not true,” Markell said.

So here’s a suggestion for Virginia legislators, every one of whom claims to be pro-small business.

Act like that, and introduce legislation that repeals certain hard-to-fathom ABC laws.

Keep the stuff that makes some sense, such as the prohibition on serving minors and intoxicated patrons, and requiring bars to close by 2a.m. Keep forcing bars to buy their liquor from the ABC, which produces significant revenue for state coffers. Maintain the prohibition on nude dancing in licensed establishments. That’ll keep the prudes quiet.

But why are bars forbidden from hanging neon beer signs in windows, when they can fill their walls with branded-beer posters?

Why, during happy hour, can a patron order a pitcher of Bud – which can hold four beers – but he can’t have more than two individual beers on the bar at once?

Why can’t bars advertise happy hour specials on social media?

Why can’t anybody order pitchers of margaritas, ever? All mixed drinks in pitchers are illegal in Virginia.

That stuff and more should be repealed.

Go read the whole thing to get the full story behind the honest barkeep who is getting screwed by the unreasonable rules.

11 thoughts on “Someone Call Hell & Check the Temperature”

  1. I actually liked the old name better. When the nanny state starts to hit the newspapers, they’ll start to hit back. I think we’re starting to see that now.

  2. I’m shocked that it’s Dan Casey calling for less government. He’s not normally an enemy of the nanny-state. Neither is the Roanoke Times, for that matter, but occasionally an editorialist does break from the company line.

  3. I still remember an old boss asking me what the hell this SIH website was that I was reading every day. Good times…

  4. “Keep forcing bars to buy their liquor from the ABC, which produces significant revenue for state coffers. ”

    Um, that’s something you want to keep? Why? The state shouldn’t be in the liquor business.

    1. That’s what the author of the quoted article wants, not Bitter. He’s a pretty hardcore liberal on most topics, and normally an enthusiastic BigGov(tm) supporter. It may also be an olive branch to the “ZOMG ALCOHOL IS TEH EBIL!!!111!!!!1!” crowd we have here in VA, since they would certainly object very strongly to any relaxation on the current restrictions.

      1. I know that. I should have made it clear that it was a rhetorical question directed at the author of the article.

        1. And I should have been able to figure that out. That’s what I get for doing three things at once and trying to be intelligent at the same time. :)

          1. No it’s alright, I’m pretty bad at writing so I should take more time to be clear.

            I just find it silly that he’s calling for less government control but at the same time saying it’s good for the bars to be completely dependent on the state to buy the liquor.

            1. It’s not so much calling for less government control, and more that he doesn’t like the way that particular area of .gov control is being exercised.

              He is a pretty typical liberal, after all.

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