Utah is known for quirky liquor laws. When we first moved to the state, it was illegal for restaurants to sell mixed drinks. Diners were forced to buy little mini-bottles. They would order the base of the drink at the restaurant then mix in the alcohol themselves. Needless to say, peopled tended to mix drinks that were more potent than those served by the store. Ah, the good old days.
The state has been gradually easing restrictions; however, one quirky aspect of the law remains. All the stores that sell liquor harder that 3.2 beer are owned by the state (See Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. So, if you want to buy a bottle of wine for the family get-together, you need to go to the state store.
To discourage alcohol consumption, the old liquor stores were all drab, industrial and dark. They were often placed on back streets to make them hard to find.
The state owned liquor stores are usually packed beyond capacity during the holiday season. In recent years, the state has started upgrading the old liquor stores. Many of the new stores have modern architecture and an improved work flow.
As the State has a monopoly on alcohol sales, this chain of stores has money spouting out its ears. They have the money for quality architecture, it will be interesting to see what they do with it.
- Utah State (56 pictures) This gallery shows pictures from throughout the state.