Social media is pretty amazing.
Thursday afternoon Joymongers Brewing Co. posted a notice on its Facebook page stating that because of a Guilford County Health Department interpretation of state regulations, dogs would no longer be allowed in the brewery taproom. According to the post because taprooms were not defined in the regulations the Guilford County Health Department had decided to treat taprooms as restaurants.
Three hours later state Rep. Jon Hardister posted a reply on the Joymongers page that reads, “I have asked my staff to look into this I’m interested in clarifying this law so taprooms don’t fall under restaurant rules.…”
A couple hours later Hardister said that it didn’t seem like a difficult problem to solve and he expected to be introducing a bill in the legislature next week that would fix it.
Hardister said, “I reached out to my staff and it seems like a pretty simple fix. Hopefully we’ll have the bill drafted by tomorrow and introduced next week.”
Hardister said he wasn’t 100 percent clear on exactly what the problem was but it sounded like it was that there was no state statute defining a taproom.
He said, “Some things can be defined by the Health Department and that can happen if the state law is not clear.”
Hardister said that in his travels across the state, “It seems fairly common to have pets in taprooms.”
He said except for restaurants he thought it should be up to business owners to decide if they want to allow pets in their businesses or not.
About the bill, he plans to introduce next week Hardister said, “I don’t see a whole lot of opposition.”
So it looks like the whole taprooms being treated like restaurants issue will be solved by using some commonsense at the state level. If a place doesn’t prepare food, it’s not a restaurant.
The question the people in Guilford County should be asking is why can’t that commonsense be used at the county level as well. Why in Guilford County and Greensboro does everything have to be interpreted as business unfriendly as possible. Taprooms don’t prepare food, which is why they aren’t restaurants, but in Guilford County a state law is necessary to tell us that a place that doesn’t prepare food is not a restaurant and should not be held to the same standards as a restaurant.
Do we really need a state law to tell us that a place that doesn’t prepare food is not a restaurant?
Unfortunately, the answer in Guilford County to that question is yes.