Group wants end to "Zion Curtain" law walling off bartenders

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 26, 2013 file photo, manager Dustin Humes fixes a drink in a small room which is out of the view of patrons at Vivace Restaurant in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City area restaurants are hiring a lobbyist and gearing up for ... a legislative push next year to persuade lawmakers to overturn one of Utah’s quirky liquor laws requiring some restaurants to prepare alcoholic drinks behind a barrier where customers can't watch. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer,File) (The Associated Press)

A group of Utah restaurants wants to scrap a law requiring so-called Zion Curtains that wall off customers from bartenders preparing drinks.

Continue Reading Below

The Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association plans to hire a lobbyist to push the change during the legislative session starting in January.

Association President Tamara Gibo told The Salt Lake Tribune ( that the 2009 law impacts new businesses more than others that were grandfathered in.

Owners are concerned about costs and safety for employees who go unobserved behind the barriers.

"Business owners want to be able to monitor employees, make sure they are not drinking on the job or using the meters improperly," she said.

Dan Jones & Associates recently polled 823 voters and found 45 percent oppose the walls while 40 percent favor them.

Continue Reading Below

About 43 percent of active Mormons are at least somewhat in favor of the change.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has helped knock down efforts to repeal the Zion Curtain law, which is named in reference to the teetotal guidance from the Mormon church.

"Yes, we are looking at the issue," said Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton.

"We want something that will work for everyone," he said. "We don't want to put forth a piece of legislation that creates more problems."


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,