City's Public (and Maybe Private) Drinking Down

The new Zagat New York City Nightlife Guide is out, and its survey indicates that citizens are not hitting the bars and clubs like they used to. Zagat finds 56 percent of survey respondents going out less, 38 percent finding cheaper places, 27 percent ordering fewer drinks, etc.

Given the economy, this is no shock. But we expected this would mean that people would be drinking more at home. Nate Silver, however, has found that U.S. alcohol sales for home consumption took a big hit in the fourth quarter of 2008. Even MillerCoors modestly "sees beer sales growth slowing less rapidly" than those of wine and liquor in these economically challenged times.

New York's mileage may vary, but we find the prospect of a city both more sober and more broke a little discouraging. Are we beginning to self-administer a Prohibition in advance of a New Depression? Maybe there's a different explanation. "The answer is simple," says one Daily News commenter. "We have all turned to psychedelic drugs." Photo (cc) JasonRogers.


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