Private clubs are for socializing, but they better not say so, one establishment has learned.
The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control notified Green Street Social Club that it cannot use the word "social" in its promotional advertising to members.Department compliance director Earl Dorius recently wrote the club a letter of reprimand for using "social" instead of the word "private."
"I felt bad about this, because it was so technical," Dorius said. But the law is the law, he said, and it prescribes a certain wording in promotional literature. "Social" isn't one of the words that can be used, he said.
Utah private clubs fall into three categories, and one of them is "social" clubs. The others are fraternals - the Elks and Eagles lodges - and the equity clubs, which are typically golf and country clubs.
"A social club is what we are, and I didn't know it was doing anything wrong to say so," Green Street owner Bob Slingerland told commissioners.
"But now that I know, I promise not to do it again," he said.
A letter of reprimand from the compliance section, which requires commission concurrence, carries a negative connotation for the club that remains in its file. The lowest level of censure the commission can adopt, it carries no other punishment.
Other private clubs have been reprimanded on minor technicalities.
Bentley's, a private club at the Marriott Hotel, was issued a letter of reprimand for failure to identify itself as a private club in type at least as large as 10-point bold. And Activities Inc., doing business as The Iron Horse in Ogden, was reprimanded for some February advertising in which the club failed to identify itself as a private club.