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Utah bar owners angered over 10 pm alcohol ban file lawsuit

Club 90.jpg
Posted at 1:23 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 17:19:15-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Enough is enough for several Utah bar and restaurant owners who filed a lawsuit Thursday against Gov. Gary Herbert over the state's 10 p.m. alcohol curfew.

The curfew was put in by the Utah Department of Health in a public health order on November 9.

WATCH: Utah bars continue to struggle with executive order

However, bar and restaurant owners argued the curfew was hurting business by shutting down alcohol sales at such an early hour.

A group of 25 owners sent a letter to Herbert last week asking him to reconsider the curfew; instead, the curfew was extended Tuesday in the Department of Health's new public health order. The owners say Herbert never responded to their letter.

READ: Bars and employees struggling to make ends meet under new COVID-19 restrictions

The lawsuit organizer, Kirk Bengtzen, owner of Twist Bar & Bistro, said there were dozens of other establishments that wanted to join, but did not have the money to do so.

The lawsuit also names Richard Saunders, the Interim Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health, as a defendant.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit own 10 bars and restaurants in Utah, including the following:

  • Twist Bar & Bistro
  • Area 51
  • Wing Nutz (Orem & Spanish Fork)
  • The Break (South Jordan & West Valley)
  • Club 90
  • The SunTrapp
  • Willie's Lounge
  • Big Willies Lounge

The lawsuit claims much of the public health order is flawed in that the bars and restaurants can curb crowd gathering on their own, and that an alcohol curfew simply keeps patrons away.