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Self-Serve Beer Machine Could Come to Iowa City

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa City Attorney’s Office says a soon-to-open local restaurant has applied for a waiver, which would allow them to install a self-serve beer machine. Meaning when it opens next month, the Iowa Chop House on Washington St., would get the first self-serve machine in the city.

“Self-serve alcohol vending is illegal in Iowa,” said Eric Goers, assistant county attorney. “But they’ve applied for a waiver.”

The decision on granting a waiver comes from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, which seeks input from city officials during their decision making process. Goers said he’s in support of trying the idea and gave approval to the division. In a letter to city officials Goers said the waiver had been granted, but restaurant management said it’s not yet official.

“We are open to the idea,” Goers said. “My understanding is these will be more craft beers.”

There are establishments in three other Iowa cities already approved for alcohol self-serving, including the Gastro Pub on First Ave SE in Cedar Rapids.

Legal aged bar goers are given an electronic wristband, which allows drinkers to fill up on 32 ounces of beer. After they’ve consumed that amount, a bar staff member can reset the wristband after judging their level of intoxication.

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