I've just been reading through the City Alcohol Policy Coordinator's "best practices" for Madison bars. It includes a sample memo from a bar owner to his/her employees, instructing them on a variety of policies, from I.D. practices to designated driver programs. So far I've learned that the city does not want bars to:
Offer Happy Hours. It would prefer that bars off "Hungry Hours," which encourages eating and deters excessive drinking.
Assume that a customer wants another drink. Rather than ask, "Would you like another cocktail," servers are encouraged to ask "Would you like another beverage."
Allow customers to buy "rounds" of drinks.
Allow loud, unpleasant or obnoxious behavior.
In contrast, the city does want bars to do the following:
Offer designated drivers free non-alcoholic drinks or food.
Promote "mocktail" drinks that are similar to popular cocktails.
Promote a non-alcoholic drink that is "comparable" to any wine, beer or liquor they promote.
To encourage an atmosphere of social interaction between people of all ages.
The last point is especially ironic. How does the city honestly expect bars to encourage socializing between people of different ages if they're going to fine anybody found in the bar below the age of 21 (as well as the bar itself)? Since there are a lot of different post-21 ages, I'll say that expectation is slightly less absurd than the expectation that bars will not tolerate "loud, unpleasant or obnoxious behavior." There are some bars in Madison who manage to avoid all of that, but they're not very profitable or they make more money as restaurants. Indeed, most Madison bars' profit model is based entirely on loudness, unpleasantness and obnoxiousness.
More puzzling still was the city's best practices for live music events. Here's a taste of the list:
3.) Offer a diverse music set. Offer different types of shows and aim for a diverse demographic. If you do the same genre over and over again, you may attract the same crowd which may result in future problems.
4.) Market to a wide audience. The more diverse the crowd, the less likely you are to have problems. If you are distributing flyers, don't focus exclusively on certain areas or certain populations.
What "crowd" is the city referencing?