It’s OK to eat at a Mankato restaurant if you don’t have a driver’s license

What’s this? You’ve got to have a driver’s license to eat at the Olive Garden in Mankato?

Nancy Goodwin, of Mankato, thought the sign she saw posted at the restaurant on Monday seemed odd.

A manager assured her it only applies to people buying alcohol, even if that’s not indicated on the sign, the Mankato Free Press says.

Turned out the ordinance the sign referred to doesn’t currently exist, at least under the code section listed on the sign. A similarly worded law can be found under section 4.12 of the city codes, which does say it’s unlawful for someone older than 18 to enter a liquor licensed establishment without a valid ID. Without the alcohol context, however, the sign could send a different message than what the law intends.

Matt DuRose, Mankato Department of Public Safety commander, said the city looked into the Olive Garden signage and concluded the wording was outdated and missing the language referring to alcohol. The ordinance may have been updated between when the sign went up and now, which would explain the code section discrepancy.

Years back the city distributed laminated signs with the ordinance language to liquor-licensed establishments, but DuRose said the version at Olive Garden likely didn’t come from the city.

“I can see why some people would have concerns, but that wasn’t the intent of any sign put out by the city,” he said. “We’re not trying to restrict people to enter any establishments that serve liquor.”

The restaurant is taking down the sign today.

  • jon

    Oh, city ordinances…

    I recently learned that my city has an ordinance stating that trash cans must not be more than 32 gallons in size…

    Only one of the cities licensed trash providers offers a 32 gallon bin…. everyone else starts at 35-38…

    I added it to the ordinance against selling narcotics at a bowling alley, and laws against dancing… (both of which are still on the books for my suburb!).

  • MrE85

    I might have suspected this was a way to make undocumented immigrants know they are unwelcome, but it seems like an innocent mistake re: a crazy city ordinance.

  • Al

    Boy. Someone spent a lot of money on that really crappy-looking, faux-stone sign.

  • Paul Drake

    People entering Olive Garden need to have things checked other than their drivers licenses.