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Flashback... remember when Kansas was Dry?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Today we drove up to the county north of us to have dinner at a new-to-us restauran. I had purchased a Groupon offer. It's an Italian place, so I was somewhat surprised that they didn't push the alcoholic beverages... water and pop was what they had!

Well, turns out, that county was not entirely dry - it allowed liquor-by-the-drink only in restaurants that got at least 30% of their revenue from food, with a membership card... and this restaurant is new enough (I think? I'd never heard of it before I saw the Groupon offer), that it didn't yet have a liquor license and/or membership cards. Believe me, they would have been pushing it, if they did have membership cards.

Years ago, all of Kansas was dry, with liquor by the drink only in the restaurants set up as "membership clubs." That's how it was when I turned 21 and was old enough to drink. Most restaurants reciprocated, so I remember getting a card at one of the restaurants that seemed to reciprocate with more restaurants then the others. Silly me, when that system ended, I threw away my membership card. Little did I realize it would be a historical relic. Or hysterical, I'm not sure which - trying to explain this system, back in the day, to residents of most other states like California was guaranteed to bring about great hilarity. I'm thinking it changed like in the mid to late 1990's? Can't remember now. Too tired to google it. But I remember they changed it so that the counties that wanted to stay dry could, and that they'd have the option to revisit the issue at future elections. Some have eventually changed and become liquor by the drink counties, and others are still totally dry counties.

So, in spite of all this historical retrospective, tonight's dinner was fun (and saved me some alcoholic calories, yaaay!). I had saved some room for calories, as I only had a meal around 10 am and this dinner was more like 7 pm (allowing for husband coming home later and the pleasant 20 or so minute drive up there...). Plus, we split the appetizer and the dessert, and each had a salad.

For those curious, here's a map of the current status:

Oh here we are, a history of evolution of Kansas liquor law...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sounds like a good new restaurant. Liquid calories--alcohol or otherwise-really do add up!
    1704 days ago
    Interesting. In Oregon I know that whenever a new owner buys Goble Tavern, they have to go through a waiting period before getting their liquor license and kids aren't allowed where liquor is served. In San Antonio, boy were we surprised when DD, GD and were sat with everybody else drinking and singing karaoke. Kind of eye opening for the 10 yo GD at the time. She also waltzed into the liquor store with us to buy my Sis a bottle of wine. So Texas has barely any laws and Kansas is still fairly dry.
    1705 days ago
    I LOVE cultural/history lessons like this! Thanks for sharing!
    Our state lets individual towns and counties vote whether to be wet or dry. The county I live in is dry but recently the counties touching our borders have become "wet" in the main towns. Some of those are restricted to restaurants too.
    Here is our map!
    You'll have to copy & paste the link in your browser to get it to work.
    1705 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/26/2013 9:26:06 AM
    thanks for sharing sounds like dinner was good and you save calories.
    1705 days ago
  • MOGAL1946
    Thought maybe I didn't remember correctly..but maybe so. Seen where they changed the legal age to purchase beer to 21 back in 1985. I seem to have memories of my roommates and I driving across the Missouri line into Kansas to purchase beer back in 1964..we were all 18 and working in Kansas City.
    1705 days ago
    Thanks for the history lesson! Glad you got to experience a new restaurant. HUGS and here's to a great weekend.
    1705 days ago
  • 123456789100
    Wow so complicated.. and all I had to do when I turned 21 was go out..
    1705 days ago
    I don't drink but I visited the map and couldn't believe it! I had never heard anything like it before. Very interesting indeed. emoticon emoticon

    Love, Chelsea
    1706 days ago
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