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Councilors investigate ‘split’ bars

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 23, 2010 7:30 AM

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Iowa City city councilors are interested in investigating the feasibility of splitting drinking establishments into alcohol and alcohol-free areas, according to a memo sent by the city attorney.

This would allow those under 21 to enter the “non-alcohol” areas of a liquor establishment. While the idea is legal, the memo acknowledged enforcement could become tricky, and some establishments are not built for separation.

This possible future exception would join a number of other exceptions to the 21-only rule that takes effect on June 1.

These exceptions include:

• Allowing underage patrons to enter prior to 10 p.m.
• Allowing underage patrons to enter if more than 50 percent of the gross sales are from goods and services rather than alcohol.
• Allowing underage patrons to enter if the location is part of an alcohol-free event that has been approved by the police.

— by Grace Savides

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