Private Property
Matt Powers · June 15, 2016

When you walk into a restaurant, in many parts of the country, you might often find a bartender mixing up drinks for customers. In Utah, however, you would instead find a curtain blocking that bartender from view, known as the ‘Zion Curtain.’ Hive Winery doesn’t care much for the rule and has decided to fight back.

A Zion curtain is a wall or some other barrier that prevents alcohol from being readily visible or accessible to a patron. The law only applies to restaurants in Utah which apply for a “full-service restaurant license” or a “limited-service restaurant license.” The Zion curtain was placed into law due to concerns that watching alcoholic drinks being poured or mixed would encourage greater consumption of alcohol, especially by minors.

Hive Winery has taken this absurd law and turned it against the state of Utah. As Fox 13 reported, “The Hive Winery’s new Zion Curtain also weighs in on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ influence on alcohol policy, replacing the acronym for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to say ‘Utah Doing As Bishop Commands.’”

Baylen Linnekin discussed the controversy.

Hive Winery is not alone in opposing the Zion curtain rule, with at least one poll showing a majority of Utah residents favor removing of the curtain. Utah State Sen. Jim Dabakis criticized Zion curtains during a committee hearing several months ago, saying:

“It simply doesn’t work. It’s awkward. It’s annoying. It’s miserable. It creates a weirdness level that we don’t deserve. It ought to be torn down and it ought to be torn down immediately!”

The law was cited as one of many bureaucratic hoops cited in the Institute for Justice report Attack on Food Freedom.