COLUMBUS, Ohio - After spending their day serving the public, lawmakers might soon be able to head to the basement and get served at a pub.
Ohio officials are debating a proposal to establish the nation’s only state house bar - a venue where lawmakers and members of the public could tip a few back after hours.
Opponents say it would be inappropriate in a government building frequented by schoolchildren, while others note that alcohol already flows freely at State House events.
“Prohibition ended in the 1930s, so what’s the big deal?’’ said Senator Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican. “We’re not talking about putting George Jones and Willie Nelson on the jukebox and having people spending all their waking hours in the Capitol Cafe, drowning their sorrows. But the idea that there’s alcohol in the State House should be completely unsurprising to anyone.’’
The caterer who conceived the idea to serve beer, wine, and liquor for reserved events like wedding rehearsal dinners said he was simply trying to attract new customers to an underused basement cafeteria.