Thursday, July 03, 2014

Diary: They've always been there, because unlike you, I'm not that stupid.

As many readers already know, at Bank Street Brewhouse, we no longer serve food.

You are encouraged to bring food or have it delivered, and we hope to stage events like last weekend's pop-up restaurant with Louvino's, but as for the kitchen is concerned, it remains health-bureaucrat-licensed and ready ... and also shuttered, at least for now. What the future brings is anyone's guess.

This being Indiana, an establishment cannot maintain its "adult beverages by the glass" license without adhering to a section of the statute stipulating that there must be present on site at all times these items: Sandwiches, soup, soft drinks, coffee and (drum roll please) milk.

Enough for 24 people. Why 24? Only long-dead legislators unfamiliar with lactose intolerance can answer that question. Was it a coin toss?

It's a wonder I know any of this, because having been involved all those years with a pizzeria, it never came up. Any drinks pourer with an in-house food service is given the benefit of the doubt by the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission (ATC).

Roughly six years ago, a bar called Connor's Place (since closed) had just reopened on Pearl Street after moving from its original location, where there had been a working kitchen. Coincidentally, it was Harvest Homecoming week, meaning that food was everywhere on the street outside, even if Dave, the owner, hadn't had the chance yet to reanimate his grill.

Naturally, he was cited by the ATC for not having the required bill of fare for 24 guests, as above, and he was told: Look, hotdogs and buns stored in the freezer and cans of soup count. Just have a microwave handy.

I knew, and as changes were being contemplated this spring, I understood that merely having once been a restaurant would not pass muster. Within a few days in May after ceasing to cook at BSB, we made sure compliance was in place. Since then, there have been 24 frozen hot dogs and buns, cans of soup totaling 24 servings, soft drinks (had 'em anyway) and instant coffee, the latter sufficing until I figure out a way to get better quality coffee service restored (Quills, I hope you're reading).

There's a microwave.

And yes, and powdered milk.

The reason I'm telling you this is that yesterday the ATC called. I'd already discussed it in May with the same phoning officer, who nonetheless had no choice to reconfirm with me yesterday because John Q. Public had called the ATC and complained that we were in violation of the rule.

A member of my fan club, no doubt, so kindly insert a raspberry here. If I find out who you are, I'll spit in your general direction.

As a side note, if we were to eschew our three-way permit and revert to a samples-only, growler-filling taproom without full pint pours, we'd be excused from the emergency menu requirement. But there'd be no fun in that.

Next I'm going to draw up a menu. Perhaps this 24-unit requirement is the germ of an idea, and there's a market for Oscar Meyer on white and a side of Cost Cutter Tomato Soup, with an after-dinner Sanka.

Pair with Hoptimus?

No comments: