ON THE AVENUES: Law-abiding by weenie was never this viral.

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ON THE AVENUES: Law-abiding by weenie was never this viral.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

This week’s column is a day early, and next week I’m taking a vacation day. 

Those of you who are reading locally, or are familiar with the recent history of the New Albanian Brewing Company, already know that in May we suspended the kitchen at Bank Street Brewhouse for purely financial reasons. We couldn’t figure out a way to make money from a menu we all loved, and so we stopped to consider other possibilities.

It wasn’t easy, but of course good things seldom are. We’re trying to reboot BSB as a brewery taproom, freely borrowing ideas from other places near and far, and it will take time for the new concept to take shape. One of the central pillars of this evolving plan is to determine ways to encourage our customers to continue eating — just not food we’re preparing on site (with occasional exception, like the two pop-up dinners to date).

The possibilities are endless, and they reflect the multitude of options within minutes of our building:

Carry-in from nearby eateries
Takeout Taxi (see below)
Delivery from those who do so
Vendors cooking in the beer garden
Picnic baskets
Food trucks, at least as they begin arriving in New Albany

But here’s the rub: Even with all of these options, it is impossible for us to continue serving alcoholic beverages by the glass without complying with an Indiana state law dating from the time before color television that defines bars as restaurants serving drinks.

From the moment the kitchen change at BSB was announced, I was well aware of this fact; after all, the law is 13 years older than me. I spoke with the regional Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and made sure we had the materials necessary to comply with the rule (note that this is not uncommon): Frozen weenies, buns, cans of soup, instant coffee, powdered milk and soft drinks enough to serve 25 persons.

To make a long and annoying story shorter, we failed our first test of this new “menu,” and so I went back to the drawing board. In order to keep ourselves aware of the responsibility not just to store these foodstuffs, but to serve them, I decided to incorporate them in a real, tactile menu and to price them based on the surreal nature of the law itself, which does not stipulate mark-ups. Moreover, we needed to collate the carry-in and delivery information in one place. Perhaps one well aimed stone would do the trick.

Hence, the menu reprinted below. Much to my surprise, it landed on the front page of Reddit on Tuesday, generating more than 1,700 often amusing comments, and since then it has been picked up by a dozen other internet sites.

Knock me over with the proverbial feather.

There’s an undeniable element of Chicken Little (nuggets?) to all this. For once, I’ve not sought the notoriety, and I have absolutely no beef (teriyaki, perhaps) with the ATC. They’re the police, and the police enforce laws; end of story.

However, in perfect sincerity, I feel as though we’re doing our level best to honor the obvious intent of the 1947 statute by offering ways for our customers to eat while they drink. Dragon King’s Daughter keeps longer hours than BSB, and its kitchen is closer to the BSB front door than many service bars are to their patio seats.

Isn’t the law somewhat archaic? It doesn’t mention pizza, and both the sandwiches and the soup must be “hot,” ruling out chicken salad on rye and gazpacho. Is a taco a sandwich? We now know that coffee plays no sobering role, and perhaps the Dairy Council inserted the milk provision as a sop to Indiana milk cows. Today’s service industry realities are light years removed from a shots ‘n’ beer roadhouse in 1947, and the law does not take these realities into account.

The BSB kitchen remains licensed, and we continue to sift through ideas to restore a cost-effective food service to the limited space we have to utilize. The options are countless, and as they are considered, it is my hope that the following “compliance” menu suffices as proper statutory observance, as we’ve always prided ourselves on adhering to the rules defining our daily business.

Yes, There Is Food at Bank Street Brewhouse, and Here Is the Menu.
Updated August 10, 2014
As of May, 2014, Bank Street Brewhouse is a brewery taproom dedicated to providing creative edible options to our patrons, ranging from carry-in to delivery every day, to periodic pop-up dinners, special catering and mobile “food truck” appearances as the latter become available. Menus for local eateries are kept at the bar. Please note: Outside alcoholic beverages cannot be brought into Bank Street Brewhouse.
Our Top Choices of Eateries … Close By for Carry Out or Delivery
WICK’S PIZZA
225 State Street
Pizza, Sandwiches, Pasta
Delivery:  812-945-9425
Wick’s takes 20% off deliveries to Bank Street Brewhouse
MANDARIN CAFÉ
 2602 Charlestown Road
Traditional Chinese
Delivery: 812-945-6789
DRAGON KING’S DAUGHTER
Japanese-Mexican Fusion
Bank Street
Carry-out: 812-725-8600
DKD is 75 yds from BSB
Pair the city’s best food with the city’s best beer. Multi-Restaurant Meal Delivery & Drop Off Catering Service Serving Southern Indiana
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TAKEOUT TAXI
Food from local restaurants, delivered
http://www.takeouttaxiindiana.com/
Call (502) 895-8808
Takeout Taxi brings restaurant meals directly to you at your office, home or More Variety and Choices than anyone while giving you more time to take care of family, friends or business.
Delivery is $5.99 plus 5% of the order.
ALADDIN’S CAFE
Mediterranean/Greek
111 W. MARKET STREET
BELLA ROMA
ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Italian
134 EAST MARKET STREET
HABANA BLUES
Cuban/Spanish
148 EAST MARKET STREET
LOUIS LE FRANCAIS
French
133 EAST MARKET STREET
MIMO’S
NEW YORK STYLE PIZZERIA
Italian, Pizza, Pasta, Subs
2708 PAOLI PIKE
MUSCLE MONKEY GRILL
Smoothies, Wraps & Coffee
147 EAST MARKET STREET
PRIMO’S DELICATESSEN
Sandwiches, Salads & Soups
155 EAST MAIN STREET
SHAWN’S SOUTHERN BBQ
Barbecue
822 STATE STREET
More local eateries – call them to order carry-out.
CAFÉ 27 (Modern American) … 149 E. Main … 812-948-9999
COMFY COW (Ice Cream Parlor) … 109 E. Market … 812-924-7197
EXCHANGE PUB + KITCHEN (Gastropub)  … 118 W. Main … 812-948-6501
FEAST BBQ (Barbecue) … 116 W. Main … 812-920-0454
JR’S PUB (Pub Grub/Fish Sandwiches) … 826 W. Main … 812-920-0030
RIVER CITY WINERY (Bistro/Pizza) … 321 Pearl Street … 812-945-9463
TUCKER’S (Sports Bar) … 2441 State Street … 812-944-9999
NABC’S Pizzeria & Public House is located 3.5 miles away from Bank Street Brewhouse at 3312 Plaza Drive, phone 812-944-2577
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Bank Street Brewhouse’s Indiana Statutory Compliance Restaurant Menu.
Statutory Overview:
Permit premises where alcoholic beverages are consumed by the “drink” are required to have food service available, at all times, for at least 25 persons. Minimum food service required consists of hot soups, hot sandwiches, coffee, milk, and soft drinks (see attached rule). (IC 7.1-3-20-9 & 905 IAC 1-20-1) see complete and unexpurgated statutory language on page 4 of this menu.
Our Famous Hotdog Sandwich
Microwaved to perfection, including both weenie and bun, sans condiments.
$10.00
Chef Campbell’s Soup of the Day
Served in a bowl. Your choice of whichever can is on top of the stack.
$10.00
Instant Coffee
Caffeinated only. Available black, or black.
$5.00
Powdered Milk
With or without water.
$5.00
Sprecher Craft Soft Drinks
Different flavors … market pricing
This menu is available all of the time.
—-
The Fine Print: Indiana State Law.
In order to possess an Indiana retail alcoholic beverage sales permit, Bank Street Brewhouse must comply with a 67-year-old state law that compels us to maintain a restaurant located on the premises. 
Rule 20. Food Requirements
905 IAC 1-20-1 Minimum menu requirements
Authority: IC 7.1-2-3-7; IC 7.1-3-24-1
Affected: IC 7.1-3-20-9
Sec. 1. Under the qualification requiring that a retail permittee to sell alcoholic beverages by the drink for consumption on the premises must be the proprietor of a restaurant located, and being operated, on the premises described in the application of the permittee; and under the definition of a “restaurant” as “any establishment provided with special space and accommodations where, in consideration of payment, food without lodging is habitually furnished to travelers,”–and “wherein at least twenty-five (25) persons may be served at one time;” the Commission will, hereafter, require that the retail permittee be prepared to serve a food menu to consist of not less than the following:
Hot soups.
Hot sandwiches.
Coffee and milk.
Soft drinks.
Hereafter, retail permittees will be equipped and prepared to serve the foregoing foods or more in a sanitary manner as required by law.

(Alcohol and Tobacco Commission; Reg 36; filed Jun 27, 1947, 3:00 pm: Rules and Regs. 1948, p. 58; readopted filed Oct 4, 2001, 3:15 p.m.: 25 IR 941; readopted filed Sep 18, 2007, 3:42 p.m.: 20071010-IR-905070191RFA; readopted filed Oct 29, 2013, 3:39 p.m.: 20131127-IR-905130360RFA)

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