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New Eccles Theater facing drama with Utah's Zion Curtain

KUTV alcohol prep area 092316.JPG

(KUTV) There is a drama playing out at the new $120 million dollar Eccles Theater, and it is not happening on the stage. It is occurring behind the scenes.

The state says the area where Eccles staff prepares alcoholic drinks and pours wine is in violation of the so called “Zion Curtain” law. The liquor law requires restaurants to hide their drink prep from vulnerable eyes.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said that they can seen through frosted glass and between the panes. And more importantly, those vulnerable eyes can see right into the belly of the alcohol room.

“You have four levels in the Eccles Theater that can look down in there and see the alcohol and alcohol preparation,” said DABC spokesman Terry Wood.

State Sen. Jim Dabakis said the law is a bad one. He has complained about it since it was passed in 2009, and he says the DABC’s interpretation of the bad law is incorrect.

“Every time the DABC has a decision to make, they screw it up and they go in the wrong direction,” said Dabakis.

Wood said regardless of anyone’s interpretation of the law, the law is the law and DABC has been telling the Eccles Theater staff for a year that they needed to make sure the prep room was boxed in.

“But we explained to them that this has to be done and it was explained many times this has to be done,” said Wood.

Dabakis said that is beside the point the drama playing out at the Eccles Theater just highlights the problems with the law.

“We need to bring our liquor laws to the point where it is reasonable and friendly towards tourist and doesn’t drive away the kind of corporate jobs we are seeking to bring here,” said Dabakis.

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