San Francisco Bar Owners Want to Keep Liquor Flowing During Super Bowl

49ers logoWhen the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, the celebration turned ugly with cars overturned, a bus set on fire and 36 arrests. Now Ed Lee is running into challenges as he tries to prevent similar violence if the San Francisco 49ers win the Super Bowl.

Last week, Lee suggested that establishments serving alcohol switch to something softer, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The mayor said Thursday that next week he and Police Chief Greg Suhr will tour neighborhoods hit by vandalism after the World Series and during Occupy Wall Street protests last year to offer support to business owners and “also to suggest that they serve something (other) than heavy alcohol during times of celebration, because that inebriation sometimes doesn’t help with people who want to maybe go beyond the bounds of acceptability in their celebration.”

On Monday, purveyors of booze said nothing doing.

“The solution to that problem is not telling people that they shouldn’t drink or shouldn’t be allowed to drink a margarita or anything that has hard alcohol in it,” Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, told KQED’s Aarti Shahani.

In a news release, Longwell elaborated:

Our restaurant members require servers to undergo specific alcohol training to prevent the over-serving of intoxicated customers, providing a safe environment for the responsible consumption of alcohol. Instead of banning or restricting sales, the city of San Francisco should focus on promoting responsible drinking among its residents. While Mayor Lee now says a ban on certain alcohol sales is unlikely, ABI encourages the city of San Francisco to avoid demonizing a perfectly legal product.

Another aspect of public celebration could also be missing on the day of the game, according to the SF Appeal.

While San Francisco showed World Series games live on a Jumbotron screen in the Civic Center, the National Football League does not permit such simulcasts, Lee said. “It’s probably a business decision on their part,” Lee said. “We’ll accept it.”

Lee noted that it was particularly important to keep the celebrations safe and respectful given that the San Francisco 49ers are making a bid to host the 2016 Super Bowl. That game would be played at the team’s planned new Santa Clara stadium, however, and not in San Francisco.

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