Greg Melzer has a dream, that taverns in Madison will be able to reward their customers while giving them a new reason to come.
"Right now the bar business, because of the down economy and the smoking ban, is hurting something fierce," says Melzer, whose wife, Kim, owns This Drink's On Us, LLC. Within the next two weeks the company plans to begin offering MadCityCocktails, a pocket-size book that sells for $10 and offers two-for-one drink specials up to $7 in value at more than 100 bars (see www.madcitycocktails.com). It will work as a kind of Drink Passport, with barkeeps stamping or dating the pages when used.
Says Melzer, "This is a way for bars to say, 'Thank you for coming in and spending your hard-earned dollars here.'"
What about the concern, likely to arise, that this passport will encourage alcohol consumption and bar-hopping?
"There's no reason they couldn't do that anyway," notes Melzer. "Right now, you can get 50-cent taps at some bars.
"If you're looking for a cheap drunk, there's better ways than buy one, get one free.'"
We'll drink to that.