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Wasatch Brew Pub secures bar license, DABC reports $41 million in April sales

Michelle Deininger/KPCW
Wasatch Brew Pub secured a rare bar license from the DABC this week.

The Utah Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control awarded Main Street’s Wasatch Brew Pub a rare bar license this week and reported record sales numbers.

Utahns spent $41 million on booze last month. Yes, last month, not last year. That’s according to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at this week’s DABC Commission meeting.

So far in 2022, liquor sales stand at $467 million – $34 million higher than at this time last year, and an 8% increase in retail sales revenue.

DABC Finance Director Sean Williford said the increase can be explained by two factors: more people in Utah are buying alcohol and when they do, they’re buying more expensive products rather than cheaper alternatives.

“We think that the large migration we’ve had over the past few years does account for that, that also does assist with the increase in dollars per bottle sold," he said. "People are buying higher-end products and more of those, so the cart might be smaller, but they’re buying more expensive products and we believe that does have a big impact from outside-in migration.”

Park City liquor stores were the highest-grossing DABC locations in Utah in 2021. The store on Snow Creek Drive was the highest grossing in the state. Year-end sales totals are released in December.

In other local drinking news, Park City’s Wasatch Brew Pub at 250 Main Street scored a rare bar license, the only one awarded by the commission this month. The license allows the pub to serve alcohol to guests who don’t also order food. The existing brew pub is expanding, with a new space on its second floor called the Wasatch Loft & Tap Room Bar.

The Salt Lake Brewing Company owns Wasatch Brew Pub, and CEO Monae Madson told the commission its application was seven months in the making.

“We want to be enticing all kinds of diners as we build the energy levels and the ‘joie de vie’ atmosphere that is so appealing to rebuild the critical mass needed to run profitable restaurants of our size," said Madson. "We fully believe that having a bar license available to us can help build to that volume as necessary.”

The bar had been operating with a winter seasonal license before securing the full bar license this week. The DABC said it intends to hand out 10 more full bar licenses around the state by the end of this year.

The DABC will also be rebranded as the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services, or DABS, on June 1. DABC Executive Director Tiffany Clason said the name change is an effort to make the organization better reflect its goal of being more customer-focused.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.