UT bill to repeal restaurant ‘Zion curtains’ dies

FILE - Manager Dustin Humes holds wine bottles in a small room which is out of the view of patrons at Vivace Restaurant Monday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers had considered repealing a law that requires restaurants to mix alcoholic drinks out of view from patrons. Commonly known as “Zion curtains,” the mandate went into effect for restaurants in 2010 as part of a compromise when lawmakers lifted a mandate for bars to operate as members-only social clubs. The rule does not apply to restaurants that opened before 2010. The House passed a bill that keeps the practice of "Zion curtains" in place and the bill now heads to the Governor's desk. Restaurant owners and tourism officials say the law is unnecessary and hinders tourism. But some lawmakers say that removing the mandate could encourage underage drinking and influence customers to drink too much. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposal to kill one of Utah’s most notable liquor laws has died in the state Legislature.

Heber City Republican Rep. Kraig Powell says he is dropping the effort to take down restaurant walls blocking alcoholic drink mixing from public view.

Mormon church leaders in January asked legislators not to change the state’s liquor laws.

Powell says that’s a big reason why his measure could not gather enough support from the state Senate.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Orem Republican Sen. John Valentine agrees.

A similar measure to take down the so-called “Zion curtains” died last year in the Senate.

Critics of the barriers say they are unfair because only some restaurants are required to put them up.

Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn their 2014 session late Thursday night.

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