Eric Evans

Conflicts of Interest: Culture wars come to Mount Vernon and The Drinkery

Conflicts of Interest: Culture wars come to Mount Vernon and The Drinkery

When it comes to alcohol, there is a strange puritanism that sometimes sweeps through the city like a witch-hunt fever as well-meaning people—usually progressives—attempt to shut down bars or liquor stores. Sometimes, as in the plan to eliminate the licenses of liquor stores in "impoverished" neighborhoods, it comes across as a paternalistic concern for the citizenry. At other times, it is driven by homeowners baldly concerned with their property values or from nearby residents irritated by the noise from bar patrons.

The efforts to shut down bars, though, have little to do with booze. They are about culture, class, and race. And Mount Vernon—59 percent...

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