Mini Bottle Requirement to Be Removed - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/08/05

Mini Bottle Requirement to Be Removed

If you order a drink in the Low Country, they break out the little bottles you usually see on airplanes. But they're going away. It's been a subject of debate for quite some time now.

Most people we spoke with are excited for the change. In fact, last fall, voters approved a state constitutional amendment to abolish the law requiring the mini bottles.

It's a change Michael Stavac, the owner of Luther's on Bay Street in Beaufort, is happy to hear about, especially for his customers.

"Majority of people complained about it price-wise," Stavac he said. "Because if you get a drink with more than one liquor, it will cost you."

That's because for every alcoholic ingredient the drink calls for, another one-point-seven ounce mini bottle is added to the drink, and that can add up.

Take, for example, a white Russian. "A white Russian, which is Kahlua, vodka, and a splash of milk, will cost you ten and a quarter," explained Stavac.

The downside is bar owners will more than likely have to remodel their bars to make room for the larger free-pour bottles.

Although switching over to free pour isn't going to be a problem at Luther's, some business owners say it's going to cost thousands of dollars to make the change. In fact, one restaurant owner in Bluffton told us it's going to cost her about $20,000.

Although most bar owners we talked with aren't anticipating this change to increase business substantially, many people are excited to see the mini bottles on their way out.

"I'm happy about that," said Beaufort County resident David Woodward. "I voted for the referendum last fall."

This law will go into effect starting in January. Many local business owners, like the owner of Luther's, are planning to continue using some of the mini bottles, but plan on adding free-pour bottles to their bars.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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