Utah's stiff liquor laws and crack-on-the-head polices for violators can create a Catch-22 for restaurant owners who invest millions into their business, no matter how hard they try to avoid mistakes.
Last Monday, a couple who went into the newly opened Iggy's Sports Grill in Centerville for dinner and drinks walked out in a huff without ordering after the woman was denied ordering a cocktail because she hadn't brought her purse and couldn't produce ID to prove she was of age.
She is 60 years old.
But here is the restaurant's dilemma.
The owner of the Iggy's chain lost about $200,000 in potential sales in November because the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission imposed a two-week delay for the opening of the Centerville Iggy's because an Iggy's waiter in St. George served a beer to an underage decoy seven months earlier.
In addition to the $8,000 fine and other punishments for that restaurant, the commission used the violation to impose a two-week delay in opening another restaurant in the chain.
The owner said at the time that he tries to make sure all 800 employees always comply with the laws, but once in a while, obviously, someone slips up.
So an ID-for-everyone policy might be one way to prevent such costly violations. But then you run the risk of offending 60-year-olds and losing customers.
Let there be light » Besides their salaries, their travel expenses and their health care for life, another expense taxpayers cover for Utah legislators convening in January is the extra power used for lighting the Capitol Hill buildings late into the night.
Some neighbors in the area say it seems all the lights in the buildings are on all the time, late evenings and even on weekends.
But Dave Hart, director of the Capitol Preservation Board, said the late-night lights are needed for the employees working late to get bills and other information ready for the part-time legislators when they meet.
There have been some computer glitches, however, so that might explain why the lights have been on, say, at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.
Too little, too late » Lauren Richards has had a membership at Bally Total Fitness since 2001, with her membership set to expire in February. But Bally closed its doors without notice recently, and Richards was frustrated trying to get a refund for the remaining two months of her membership.
Then, last week, she got a letter from Bally urging her to "renew today to continue to take advantage of the latest brand-name equipment and an amazing variety of the best group exercise classes. Remember, the longer you renew your membership, the more you can save!"