Tuesday, July 2, 2013

You Say Restaurant, I Say...

Recently I heard a discussion about local zoning laws on the radio. The guests were on opposite sides of the issue as to whether there should be a moratorium on liquor licenses in their neighborhood. Their disagreement was civil, and as things like that go, not very good radio.

They did, however, make the distinction between restaurants, bars, night clubs, and taverns clear. It was a difference I had never considered, and one I have been thinking about since. Any of those establishments might have a liquor license. For a bar, it wouldn't make sense not to have one, because that is a place that serves alcoholic beverages. A tavern, too, serves booze, but they must also serve food; sometimes their menu is limited, sometimes not. A restaurant must make the major percentage of its income from food sales, even if they sell beer, wine, and/or liquor, and a night club offers entertainment to its patrons, with or without serving alcohol.

The other night, we went out for dinner at a place which I knew to have a full bar, but which also had an extensive menu. As we waited to be seated, a plaque I'd never noticed before caught my eye. It quoted no one less than Patrick Henry as saying, "The Tavern is the cradle of American Liberty."

Hmm. Maybe it is, I thought... but wait! Does that mean this place is a tavern? I think it just might be! That was a much more interesting idea to me.

And so my eyes have been opened to a whole new way of sorting things, and I like it. Just today, I heard a joke. A hamburger walks into a bar and orders a beer. "Sorry," says the bartender, "we don't serve food."

That's right.

No comments:

Post a Comment