A Plea For a Pub in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is talking about reforming the city's longstanding restrictions on alcohol. Writer Luke Garrett puts in his pitch for relaxed zoning to allow an old-fashioned pub in his neighborhood.

"In order to be "walkable," urban neighborhoods need to offer all kinds of services. In a survey commissioned by the City Council last summer, 87 percent of city residents want businesses within walking distance of their home.

I have two pleas: one for the neighborhood and one for downtown.

Andy's Place, a "tavern" at the corner of 500 East and 300 South, wants to become a Class D private club. Under Utah law, this would allow it to serve hard liquor. This busy downtown neighborhood is zoned residential-mixed use (R-MU), a category meant to "allow integration of medium-density residential and small-business uses at ground floor levels."

This area should have a neighborhood pub. We don't want a "private club" -- the more public, the better. As in the 9th & 9th neighborhood or commercial corners in the Avenues, such businesses can become assets to neighborhoods, providing a place for residents to meet and relax. The "Cheers"-like establishment is a space for community-building.

We weaken our neighborhoods by not allowing pubs to thrive, and endanger the public by making people drive out of their neighborhood to get a drink."

Full Story: Three cheers for the friendly neighborhood pub

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