Will The Ban On Over-16 oz. Sugary Drinks Mean The End of Bottle Service?

The mayor—in his zeal to leave office with us all healthy and fit and doing good things for the environment—has pushed through new regulations that will ensure all that. The ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces may have severe and adverse affects on bottle service. All details here.

A strict interpretation of the rule by the NYC Department of Health will basically ban the common carafe from being used. That means the bottle of Goose or rum will not be accompanied by non-diet soda unless in small containers, and only one small container per person at a table is allowed. Heaven help a joint if patrons leave a table for a wiz and there are seven small containers and only four people present during an inspection.

Juices, unless they are 100 percent fruit juices, are also limited. No one serves 100 percent fruit juice. Fines will happen, and places will spend money to adjust. Having lots of small bottles or teensy carafes is a problem because, first of all, they are expensive, and secondly, tables have limited room. Tonic water, 7UP, and Coke or Pepsi are now villains in the eyes of this zealous administration. I personally only use diet but I am in the minority. Management-level personnel that I have talked to say this wasn’t thought out, and they intend to beseech the city for an exception.

A "sky is falling" attitude will be seen by city officials as a "boy who cried wolf" situation, as clubland predicted its own demise with the smoking ban. Somehow we all survived and our hair is cleaner and probably our lungs as well. This may be different since the city cannot expect a complete retooling of the industry’s breadwinner – bottle service – on such short notice.

I believe a carafe is never intended as something someone drinks directly from, so that does not fall into that 16-ounce serving size ban. Fines will be issued and someone will rule on this, but I must say that under this administration it has been very difficult for the average businessman to survive. Shouldn’t places that have invested in certain sized tables and soda gun situations, and have contracts or relationships with soda and juice vendors be grandfathered in? I can see forcing places to have more healthy choices, like fresh juice and more diet beverages, but to change the game like this seems very rude and lacks an understanding of the realities of the biz.

Given another four or 10 years in office, Mayor Mike would surely try to control who and how we sleep with people, ban bacon and maybe eggs, demand comfortable shoes instead of those harmful high heels, and prevent us from watching those ulcer-inducing Mets. All the good that he is done is diminished by his condescending dictator-elect attitude. People who want lots of sugary soda will buy multiple bottles which may or may not be recycled. Where does it fucking end?

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