The No Drinks Without Food Policy Increases The Tab With No COVID-19 Benefits
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Nightlife Blogger
Of all the COVID-19 restrictions for bars and restaurants – no standing, not sitting at the bar (in a bar, no less), outside-only service, pre-midnight closings and the social distancing which practically kills any potential conversations with others – this one is the most annoying to me.
And unlike the other ones it has nothing to do with stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, it’s yet another power play by officials to keep people from drinking.
This provision requires customers to order a food if we want a drink.
It’s dumb, it serves no purpose related to the spread of the disease, it adds up your bar tab at a time when millions are living off unemployment and it makes it nearly impossible to visit more than two establishments in a night.
Yet it’s the law in these new times as bars and restaurants struggle to stay afloat and attract customers.
I’m not sure if this is universal but it is the case here in California, and it blows.
Here’s an example of how it can inflate the price of going out for a drink. A friend and I went to have a couple of beers, which were $6 each. The cheapest food item was chips and salsa, which was a ridiculous $7. The portion was so small it was close to the amount you get in a small bag of chips.
Once we paid for the beers, the “food” and a tip, our $6 beers wound up costing us $11 each. The place was ghostly quiet so we went searching for another place that would be more lively and, of course, to get a drink we had to order more food.
When the restaurants and restaurant/bars were allowed to stay open if they had outdoor dining but they had to close by 11 (and you had to be seated by 10), officials blamed alcohol. It’s bad, they said. It leads people to make bad choices! Yes, like electing them to office.
Hey, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, I’ve seen you drink a beer at Balboa Cafe in San Francisco. Heck, you owned it at the time. I often wonder how you would be treating the restaurants and bars now if you still owned one.
It’s time to get rid of this silly policy and let adults be adults.