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No cheers for proposed bar in Ohio Statehouse

August 18, 2011 |  9:41 am

It won't be like Cheers, state official says

It won't be anything like Cheers, the bar depicted in the TV show, a state official insists. Still, controversy is, uh, brewing, over a proposal to permit a bar in the Ohio Statehouse basement.

"I am unaware of any other statehouse in the nation that has a fully operational bar and for good reason," state Rep. Rex Damschroder complained in a letter to the agency that oversees the Statehouse.

It might send the wrong message to schoolchildren who visit the building to "watch government in action," he said, adding, "there are plenty of bars in downtown Columbus."

A state official said the proposal has been misunderstood, explaining that the private operator of the basement café in the statehouse has received permission to serve alcoholic drinks but only for private events, no different than has been done elsewhere in the building for more than a decade.

"It’s not really a traditional bar that's open to the public," said Gregg Dodd of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board in an interview with The Times.

The café operator did propose holding public happy hours.

But a committee set up by the board has recommended against that. The recommendation will come before the board in October.


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Photo: It won't be anything like the scene from the television show Cheers, a state official says of the proposal to set up a bar in the basement of the Ohio Statehouse. Credit: NBC