Bill that tears down ‘Zion curtain’ passes House

Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-05 20:17:07-05

SALT LAKE CITY - A bill that would bring down the so-called "Zion curtain" in Utah restaurants has passed another hurdle in the Utah legislature on Tuesday.

House Bill 228, which would take down the 7-foot wall that blocks restaurant patrons from seeing alcoholic beverages being prepared, passed through the House 63-11.

The idea behind the wall is that if kids are shielded from seeing alcoholic drinks being poured, they'll be less likely to partake in underage drinking.

But Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, says the walls don't work and are actually unfair to Utah restaurants.

"I think it is in most cases, particularly the one that started this issue for me. It takes up floor space that would otherwise be housing a table and in a small family owned restaurant that can make a huge difference. In a large chain that probably doesn't, so they're probably not as interested in seeing it pass but for the small family restaurant with limited service that can make a huge difference," Wilcox said.

As the bill moves to the Senate, Wilcox says it could face some opposition. Some legislators are worried about the impact on underage drinking.