Bar Owners Sue Over 10 p.m. Alcohol Ban

Dec 10, 2020, 11:55 PM | Updated: 11:55 pm

SANDY, Utah – Bar owners filed a lawsuit Thursday over the state’s health order that bans serving alcohol after 10 p.m.

Last week bar owners sent a letter to the governor saying they were “on the verge of economic ruin” as a direct result of the “unreasonable restriction.”

“We understand we need to help everybody out and be part of the solution,” said Jesse Valdez, owner of Club 90. “You gave us rules, we followed these rules. And then for some reason, you just decided that wasn’t enough.”

Club 90 is one of 10 plaintiffs listed on Thursday’s lawsuit filed in Utah’s 3rd District Court, “who are struggling to or who can no longer pay their employees, rent, mortgages, insurance premiums and are on the verge of losing their businesses as a direct result of this restriction,” according to the lawsuit.

Governor Gary Herbert and Richard Saunders, interim director of the Utah Department of Health, are named as defendants.

At Club 90 in Sandy, people come for the food and entertainment. But most of all, they come for the drinks.

“That’s how we make our money,” Valdez said.

Money has been tight this year for owner Jesse Valdez. But even with just 40% of the revenue his business is used to, Valdez said he thought they would be able to make it.

“Until this new 10 o’clock rule came along,” he said. “By stopping the alcohol sales, it just took the feet out from under us.”

The Utah Department of Health included the restriction in a health order that aims to curb the spread of COVID-19. It bans serving alcohol after 10 p.m. and went into effect last month.

This week, state health officials extended that order in areas of high transmission.

“We’re not asking for a handout,” Valdez said of the lawsuit. “We’re saying, ‘Let us fight for our businesses. Give us a chance.’”

Now even with a vaccine rollout in the coming months, Valdez said he doesn’t know what the coming months may serve to Club 90.

“Before the 10 o’clock rule I at least could believe I had a chance to make it,” Valdez said. “And right now, it’s more of a how long can I make it?”

Officials with the Utah Department of Health had not responded to a request for comment by Thursday night. The governor’s office said it does not comment on ongoing or pending litigation.

The lawsuit also comes as the Salt Lake Chamber and others call on state leaders to use some of the remaining CARES Act funds, which need to be spent by the end of the year, on struggling businesses in the hospitality industry.

KSL 5 TV Live


Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

4 days ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

1 month ago

Skiers and snowboarders at the Beaver Mountain Resort...

Mike Anderson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Ski resorts prepare for influx of snow and people

Many Utah ski resorts are finally getting the snow they waited all December for, just in time for another big storm.

1 month ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Emma Benson

‘The ICUs are full:’ Keep yourself and others healthy this holiday

It's time for holiday gatherings, but with more people around us comes a greater risk of getting sick.

2 months ago

Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

3 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Bar Owners Sue Over 10 p.m. Alcohol Ban