The 8 Dumbest Restaurant Laws Ever

Pretzel Beer

Photo: Darren Foreman via flickr

Want to enjoy a Bloody Mary with your eggs and bacon?Or pair your happy hour beer with a handful of pretzels? In the words of Sally Struthers – sure, we all do.

But if you live in a state with ridiculous rules on the books, you may be prevented from behaving just how nature intended. 

Here are the 8 stupidest statutes that we could dig up.

This post originally appeared on Zagat Buzz.

1. No booze before noon

Early risers in NYC hoping to enjoy a mimosa or Bloody Mary at Sunday brunch are, to put it bluntly, SOL. A holdover blue law -- a regulation meant to limit activities on Sunday (when you should be in church, ahem) -- prohibits restaurants and bars from serving drinks until noon on Sundays.

Of course, those most in need of a little hair of the dog are those least likely to be anywhere before noon anyway. But morning lushes, you have now been warned; plan accordingly.

Source: Zagat Buzz

2. No buying drinks for female bartenders

Lonely men looking for the hot lady bartenders of their dreams are at a distinct disadvantage in Maryland, where state law makes it illegal to send female barkeeps a cocktail.

Note to lovelorn dudes: we are not aware of any law restricting large tips.

Source: Zagat Buzz

3. Beer and pretzels can't mix

We have some bad news for pretzel lovers in North Dakota. State law prohibits restaurants and bars from serving the popular bar snack and beer at the same time.

This might be the reason God invented corn nuts and wasabi peas.

Source: Zagat Buzz

4. Security guards are required

As a result of an ordinance proposed by the city council but rejected by the mayor, restaurants in Newark, NJ that serve 15 or fewer people and want to stay open later than 9 PM would have to hire armed guards.

At least it would have been the safest sandwich experience you've ever had (then again, it is Newark, so we suppose it's better than the patrons arming themselves).

Source: Zagat Buzz

5. You can't be drunk in a bar

This one seems way too dumb to be true, like airport security frisking babies, or banning raisins in cookies, but true it is. A broad law in Texas makes it legal for cops to go anywhere -- including a bar or restaurant -- and arrest people for public intoxication.

The sad truth about this one is that less-than-ethical officers are using the protection of this law to target minorities they suspect of being undocumented immigrants. Stay classy, Texas. Oh wait, that might be easier said than done.

Source: Zagat Buzz

6. You can't drink on Election Day

Positively sick about the state of the union? (Tell us about it.) Even sicker to learn your candidate is trailing in the polls on voting day? Well, if you live in South Carolina, don't expect to drown your sorrows at your favourite bar or restaurant.

An archaic law initially meant to prevent slimy political operatives from plying voters with drinks and then escorting them to the polls makes it illegal for restaurants to serve alcohol on Election Day.

It's also illegal for stores to sell alcohol on that day too. It is not, however, illegal for people to stockpile beer, wine and liquor on the day before Election Day. Just sayin'.

Source: Zagat Buzz

7. You can't take it with you

Many states agree that allowing diners to take home their unfinished bottles of wine rather than over imbibing leads to responsible activities like walking without stumbling and driving home sober.

Not so in Mississippi, where re-corking is not allowed. Lame.

Source: Zagat Buzz

8. If you drink, you must eat

Utah has come a long way from the days when bartenders had to be separated from patrons by a partition (so that they wouldn't be tempted by the mere sight of alcohol) and would-be drinkers could only gain entry to a bar if they had a previously purchased membership.

But it's still illegal to serve restaurant diners a drink if they're not also ordering food. Also illegal? Drink specials of any kind. The silver lining? Las Vegas is right next door.

Source: Zagat Buzz

Honorable mention

In Massachusetts, happy hour deals are illegal. If frat boys could ever shake those hangovers from their keg parties, they would so organise and protest this.

Source: Zagat Buzz

Now check out some weird places to eat

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