A friend of mine recently fell in love with Savannah. He thought the city beautiful and the people lovely, but the fireworks moment was a conversation with a bartender you aren’t likely to find out of Chatham County. The bartender came of age up north, raised by anarchist, hippy parents. To rebel, he joined the military and discovered a fondness for drink. He decided to live in a place where he could always have an adult beverage in hand. Enter Savannah.
Now city fathers have come to regret that easygoing approach to alcohol. A proposed ordinance would make every bar or restaurant that serves alcohol a 21-and-up establishment after 10 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. They argue the measure is necessary to reduce the high levels of crime the city experiences on weekends. Restaurateurs argue the measure will kill business and the charm that draws tourists to Savannah. The money quote comes from Georgia Restaurant Association representative Mike Vaquer:
“This is a military town. Are we going to tell a 20 year old G.I., who is out on the Southside and wants to go into Applebee’s to eat at 11 o’clock at night that he can’t do so without his parents?”
Government has a habit of denying adult citizenship to 18-20 year-olds who are just that. We will see if Savannah will join that ignoble tradition.