The 1980s upscale restaurant rush
In the mid 1980s upscale restaurants were popping up all over the place, which dropped off by the late 1980s.
The demand for fine dining had been growing. However the main income for those upscale restaurants was the bar business. Alcohol sales and high check averages made such business profitable.
By the end of the 1980s, strict drunk driving laws, as well as the public “don’t get drunk” campaigns started to reduce the bar-profits greatly.
Smoking and drinking used to go together. When smoking became outlawed in the restaurants of many American Cities, alcoholic beverage sales in restaurants and bars took another plunge.