For most of my adult life as a lawyer, I have represented bars and nightclubs. And I have never been a drinker. But I have always enjoyed going to bars because they are the communal environments where people socialize, congregate and have a great time. Sure, some drink to excess, but we all know a lot of people who overindulge in many things. That does not make them bad people.
Anyway, this past week, did a short post about the County Commission enacting an ordinance countywide which bans patrons under the age of 21 from entering into bars, pretty much adopting a Fort Lauderdale ordinance I did not like to begin with.
Doing a little research on the issue, came upon an article by Daniel Levin in the Salt Lake Tribune, of all places, which is submitted for your pleasure. He kind of puts my thoughts into a common sense argument, and says it better than I ever have. Boy, it’s worth reading.
Bars are not bad things. Their owners are not bad people. They generate enormous tax revenues, host scores of charitable events, and offer recreation and relaxation. In an environment which is driven by tourism, city and county commissions should be doing more things to make them our partners, not opponents. They have always been treated by government as second class citizens. The hospitality industry is always willing to step in and help others. Every now and then government should try to reciprocate.
Speaking of which, how about a shout out to Deborah Carpenter-Toye's 'Jib Room' at 2104 East Oakland Park Boulevard in Wilton Manors? The ambience of Key West, modest pricing, home made foods, casual environment, friendly atmosphere, modern tv screens, laid back live music, just about everything I like in a bar, and owned and operated by a popular local defense attorney, with her husband Brian. They go out of their way to meet and greet you, serve you, and make you comfortable. Just the perfect neighborhood bar and full service restaurant with a Caribbean menu that will make you feel like you are barefoot in the Bahamas...