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St. Louis Bar Charges by the Hour Rather Than the Drink, What Could Go Wrong?

Chicago Cubs player caused a stir at the Cubs convention earlier this year by jokingly calling St. Louis a “Boring” city. Well, that all might change thanks to a new bar called Open Concept. Open Concept charges patrons by the hour rather than by the drink. The bar launched Friday and plans to charge guests $10 per hour for access to premium beer, wine, and liquor; and $20 per hour for access to top-shelf beer, wine, and liquor. Owner Michael Butler says the first option includes mostly draft beer, draft wine, and draft cocktails, while the second option includes all those in addition to straight pours of alcohol.
Open Concept bills itself as an “open bar” to which guests pay to gain access; its website says “for an average price of $10 per hour you can drink as much as you can handle.” Customers are encouraged to buy their “time” in advance on the bar’s website, though walk-ins are also accepted. We’re surely not the first to think this sounds like a recipe for overconsumption. But Butler says Open Concept’s bartenders are trained like any other bar’s staff to recognize the signs of overconsumption.

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