Don’t Do Me Like That 

Local luminaries gather to play Petty, help Family Wash get the beer board off its back

The ironies of our conflicting city and state beer and liquor laws aren’t lost on Family Wash owner Jamie Rubin, who lost his beer license in 2006 due to a confusing zoning issue.
The ironies of our conflicting city and state beer and liquor laws aren’t lost on Family Wash owner Jamie Rubin, who lost his beer license in 2006 due to a confusing zoning issue. (He had the license for years, but it was revoked in a bizarre turn of clerical events.) The story’s more complicated than The Bourne Ultimatum, but, simply put, Rubin can serve wine and high-alcohol beer, yet he can’t serve low-alcohol beer, which of course would allow patrons to (gasp!) drink more responsibly.

“Not everyone in the world wants to drink a beer that’s 7 or 9 percent alcohol,” Rubin says. “On one level, we’ve been able to educate people about different kinds of beer and the nuances of beer licenses, but it has also put a big strain on our and our patrons’ pockets. Higher-alcohol-content beers are more expensive. We’ve also been unable to support our local breweries.”

So Rubin’s gonna, um, stand his ground. No, he won’t back down. To that end, several local music celebs—including Rubin, Reeves Gabrels, Audley Freed, Jen Gunderman and Fred Eltringham (who collectively have played with David Bowie, The Black Crowes, The Jayhawks and The Wallflowers), along with guest vocalists—are gathering for two nights, two shows a night, to pay tribute to the original Heartbreaker himself, and to help Rubin raise the several thousand dollars it’s going to take to jump through all of the legal hoops necessary to allow his patrons the option of drinking a couple beers without getting drunker than Foster Brooks at a Friars Club roast (or Ryan Adams at, well, anywhere). Perhaps if Rubin can get the cash together, the beer board will stop draggin’ his heart around once and for all. (Donations welcome; reservations encouraged.)

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