ABC RAIDS TOURIST BAR
San Francisco, CA
Monday, November 22, 2010
After a 2 a.m. sting operation, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has closed the Buena Vista Cafe pending further investigation. A favorite drinking spot for tourists on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, the Buena Vista is accused by ABC officials of marketing its signature cocktail, the Irish Coffee, to minors.
“It’s combines caffeine with alcohol,” said an ABC spokesman. “In light of the impending FDA ban on Four Loko, we must push for equal enforcement. No one is above the law.”
“Honestly, we’re shocked.” said proprietor Seamus Finn, “We’ve been making this mixture of coffee, whiskey, sugar and cream for over half a century now. There’s never been a problem. I mean, there was that time Herb Caen exposed himself, but that was over 20 years ago.”
City Attorney Dennis Herrera disagreed. “The Irish Coffee is the Joe Camel of alcoholic beverages. We should close them for blending liquor and coffee alone. But the sugar and whipped cream clearly indicates they’re marketing this cocktail to minors.”
The FDA ban “should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous and toxic drinks,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) who has pushed the Obama administration to ban the beverages.
Schumer’s office put forward a recent study which showed drinkers who combine alcohol and caffeine are more likely to be injured, sexually assaulted, drive while drinking and require medical attention than those who drink caffeine-free drinks.
“Who will think of the children?” asked Lt. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.
Not all San Francisco’s elected officials are cheering the move. State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said, “This is insane.” When pressed for further comment he said, “I thought this was San Francisco. When did we turn into Vacaville?”
Prominent local photographer Brizz struck a warier note. “First, they came for the Four Loko. And I did not speak up. Because I was not a Four Loko-er.”
Residents of the lower Haight were less forgiving. “I didn’t speak up because Four Loko tastes like ass,” said a local gutterpunk. “At least Sparks had faint notes of wheat — not unlike a lager,” he added. “What the fuck’s an Irish Coffee, again? Is that like Bailey’s or something?”
The Federal Trade Commission, which regulates the marketing of the drinks, declined to comment.