We all know Chicago had a blizzard last week.  I started thinking about bars and safety as the blizzard started to hit Chicago.  I had a reservation for a beer tasting that night (Tuesday).  I called the bar and the hostess seemed surprised that I would think they would cancel the tasting.  By now the Mayor is on TV telling me not to leave my house unless absolutely necessary. I didn’t think it was that off the wall to call the bar and ask.  I waited an hour and when visibility got so bad I couldn’t see the nine story building down the block decided I to call and cancel.  They were nice when I cancelled, but by still holding the tasting were they doing the public good?

After cancelling I poured myself a beer, grabbed a hoodie and settled in front of the TV to watch the news coverage.  We all know news reporters are insane and drive around in crazy weather.  The only people they seemed to be able to interview were either stuck on Lake Shore Drive or in a bar.  Bar manager after bar manager touted their “blizzard specials” to the camera and invited people to come on over.  There seemed to be a party atmosphere with an attitude that if you are let out of work early you might as well go to the bar.

Bars were not just on camera touting they were open; they were also Twittering like crazy.  One place published numerous tweets that they would even deliver.  Sure don’t go out in this weather we will send our minimum wage driver to you.

At this point, I was appalled.  While customers may be making a conscious choice to come out in what was a historic storm, employees do not.  The bars and brewpubs were forcing employees to make a choice; get in trouble at work or heed the advice of public safety personnel.  Furthermore, these establishments placed back on the streets intoxicated individuals who got in the way of city crews trying to keep the “City that Works” from being the “City That Is Perpetually Snowed In”.  So Ladies and Gentlemen, next time we have Hizzoner or whoever follows in his footsteps telling us our civic duty is to go home and sit tight; please listen.  Sometimes civic duty outweighs making a quick buck, and to be honest we are lucky someone didn’t get killed trying to head home from one of these irresponsible bars.




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