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Utah may soon see more liquor licenses — and more rules for bars

Vin 7000, a new wine club located in Park City, brings small batch wines to the consumer.
Vin 7000
Vin 7000, a new wine club located in Park City, brings small batch wines to the consumer.

The Legislature’s annual omnibus liquor bill, now being written, could end a years-long scarcity of bar licenses.

After years of Utah bar owners lining up for months to secure a scarce liquor license, the Utah Legislature may soon consider whether to loosen the rules that limit how many licenses the state issues.

Reducing the population quota that governs how many liquor licenses for bars and full-service restaurants are available in Utah is one of the provisions being discussed for the annual omnibus liquor bill, expected to be introduced in the Legislature in the next week or so.

“We don’t want to be at a place where there’s such scarcity of licenses that people feel like they have no opportunity to get one,” Rep. Jefferson Burton, R-Salem and one of the lawmakers taking the lead on alcohol policy, told The Salt Lake Tribune.

It may take some time, though, Burton said. One of the key features of the omnibus liquor bill, he said, is to add at least 100 more bar licenses and at least 200 full-service restaurant licenses over the next five to seven years.

Read the full story at sltrib.com.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.