Liquor Control Enforcement officials raided two campus bars Friday night. They handed out approximately 20 citations for underage drinking, one of the bars' co-owners said yesterday. Customers of the Palladium and the Gold Standard, both located at 36th Street and Locust Walk, were startled at around 11:30 p.m. Friday when LCE officers ordered the bars to stop serving and turned the lights up, said Roger Harmon, a co-owner of both establishments. "[The LCE officers] said they were acting on a complaint but wouldn't be specific," Harmon said. "We didn't have any specific inkling that anything would happen this weekend." About five people were cited in the Palladium itself, where bouncers had been "carding heavily" at the door, Harmon said. "The Liquor Control people were carded when they came in," Harmon said he was told by the bar's night manager. "I think the staff was doing as best as they could." Some of Friday night's Gold Standard patrons said yesterday that the mood in the bar was one of fear when plainclothes officers appeared and ordered everyone to stay until they took a breathalyzer test or could produce identification proving they were at least 21 years old. "Some people were really afraid and I understand the police were really uptight," said Wharton senior Mariacte Correa, chairperson of the Arts House Dance Company Board, which was throwing the Gold Standard party. "They looked at the students' faces and were, like, 'Ha, Ha, Ha. We got you.' " Others said they were upset because they had no trouble gaining entrance to the party, which was supposed to be a fundraising party and show for the company. "It made us angry because they didn't ID us going in," Nursing sophomore Pam Spitzer said. "We just went to see a dance performance . . . and it got busted, which no one really expected." Students at the party said it took nearly two hours for the officers to clear out the Gold Standard. Harmon said that at the Gold Standard people show identification to the bouncer, who stamps them if they are old enough to drink. Harmon added that his bars have never been raided before, and that the Palladium has had a liquor license since 1983. Harmon said one probable solution to the problem of underage drinking at the Gold Standard, where many people go to dance, is to separate the bar area from the dance floor. He said he is considering this. Then, only people with proper identification would be allowed to enter the bar area, and they would not be allowed to take their drinks onto the dance floor. Some of those who were cited had reportedly been drinking before they arrived at the Arts House party. "They were citing people who had evidence of drinking but not necessarily drinks," Harmon said. "I'm not exactly sure what I can do if they're going to cite people who are on my premises who have been drinking beforehand." Harmon said it is difficult to run a bar on a college campus because the drinking age automatically excludes a large segment of students from participating in part of the social life. "The 21 age drinking puts increased pressure on anyone trying to run an establishment in a campus area," he said. "I wish the drinking age were 18 . . . but unfortunately [it's not and] we've got to live by the law." Harmon said business had been "definitely down over the last . . . six months," which he partially attributed to a "growing fear" of the LCE. And even the establishments that many students believed were immune to the LCE are now in danger of being searched on any given night. "I knew the frat parties were not safe, but I never thought the Gold Standard in the middle of campus would be raided," Nursing sophomore Spitzer said.Comments powered by Disqus
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