Australian police questioned a wine bar over its by-the-glass list, arguing it might promote "unsavory antisocial behavior," according to the owner of the bar.
Does selling wine by the glass promote "unsavory antisocial behavior"? Police officers in Sydney, Australia, think it just might.
According to a report by Australia's Broadsheet, police investigated the Sydney wine bar 10 William Street this weekend and cited two possible infractions: Advertising "free" wine on the chalkboard outside the bar (the word "free" was the bar's cheeky way of referencing natural, or preservative-free wine); and placing the by-the-glass wine list close to the door. The concern with the latter issue was that having the list of drinks—but not food—so close to the entrance of the establishment could ostensibly be percieved as promoting heavy drinking.
“We are a wine bar, so we put our wines by the glass at the front, and hand people a menu when they sit down," said Marco Ambrosino, co-owner of the bar, in an interview with Broadsheet. "We’ve had it like this for six years."
In an Instagram post, Giovanni Paradiso, another co-owner of the bar, expressed outrage over the incident.
"So according to [the New South Wales Police Force]... our blackboard with what we are pouring by the glass is promoting unsavoury antisocial behaviour," he wrote in the caption of the post. The police later released a statement explaining that they were conducting a broad operation with the goal of targeting "alcohol related violence, anti-social behaviour and compliance with the Liquor Amendment Act 2014."
The incident comes amid ongoing debate in Australia about a series of new laws aimed at curbing alcohol-related violence.