Here’s a Scenario for you: A bar in downtown Bloomington, Illinois hosted two liquor free teen nights on Tuesdays. The bar, Daddio’s, charged $6 and drew 185 people in its first week. To keep the crowd in check, local police officers hired two officers, in addition to the regular bar security. No problems were reported.
By week two, the crowd was cut in half, after the Bloomington Police, parents and other members of the community expressed concern about teens hanging out in a bar. That’s when the liquor commission stepped in, rejecting the bar’s plan to host four more teen nights, according to a local radio station, WJBC. Interestingly enough, the vote was tied, with 2 members saying yes to teen nights and 2 saying no, but a tie means the bar cannot move ahead.
Butch Thompson, the owner of Daddio’s, said he would remove all the liquor bottles and beer taps for teen nights, as well as most alcohol display advertising, but the powers-that-be on the liquor commission still felt uncomfortable with the teens-in-bar situation.
Thompson didn’t understand why his bar was being singled out, telling the radio station: “When Chuck E. Cheese’s can serve beer and wine, putting any of the blame on Daddio’s is pretty far-fetched.”
Still, the liquor commission held firm in their belief that a bar isn’t the best atmosphere in which to host teens. Mayor and Liquor Control Commissioner Steve Stockton, also mentioned the possibility of setting a precedent, with other bars wanting to hold their own teen nights if they approved Daddios’ request.
I have to say I would have voted no to the teen nights. Something about the whole thing makes me feel uncomfortable, too, like we’re training teens for a life spent in bars.
Even if you take away the liquor bottles and the advertising, it’s obvious that the kids are hanging out in a bar. And with all the underage-drinking problems, do teens really need to associate bars with fun and socializing? You could argue that it’s great for teens to be in a bar atmosphere with no drinking, that maybe one day they’ll go to a bar and not feel the need to drink, but that may be wishful thinking.
What do you think, readers? Teen nights in bars: Yay! Or no way?