Copabanana’s new ID policy has caused many students to stop going to the bar on Wednesday nights.
In response to an April police raid, the restaurant and bar on the corner of 40th and Spruce streets instituted a more stringent swipe and enter process in September.
The raid and following changes in ID policy have caused the management to make changes to its offerings on Wednesdays.
“We had a college night on Wednesdays that has gone away because of [the raid],” Copa bar manager Michael “Mitch” Whitaker said.
Whitaker said Copa wasn’t seeing many students on Wednesday nights after the raid, so they no longer use a doorman and DJ.
Any person with an identification that is in question must now sign a Declaration of Age form. By signing the form, the student pledges to be “of full age and discretion and over the age of 21 years,” thereby transferring all responsibility for underage drinking to the person signing the form.
College senior Nick Jasper used to go to Copa Wednesdays, but has stopped in the aftermath of the police raid.
“I don’t go there anymore because nobody goes there anymore. They cracked down on IDs,” Jasper said.
Whitaker said Copa has been seeing less suspect IDs. This may be because of a shortage of nights when Penn students fill the bar.
“I don’t see a night where they take over the restaurant,” Whitaker said, whereas before the raid he saw crowds of several hundred students some nights.
One College senior, who wishes to remain anonymous due to the nature of his remarks, gave his take on this phenomenon.
“Freshmen can’t get in, therefore making it pointless for upperclassmen to go. No young girls going equals no upperclassmen going.”
Copa co-owner Brian Phillips affirmed that the Age Dec. form is only for people with suspect IDs and that every bar has the form handy.
“Back in September, we were using [the Age Dec form] more,” Whitaker said. “We only use it once or twice a night now.”
Whitaker said he has not been seeing students leave once they are asked to sign the Age Dec form.
Furthermore, despite the changes, Whitaker stressed that Copa is still seeing a lot of students. When he got to work around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, there were over fifty students having dinner.
“Sales for this year are good,” he said, adding that they were only down during Hurricane Sandy.
Copa’s Wednesday half-price burger special “was always bigger” than the bar at night, according to Whitaker. And students still flock to the restaurant for it.
“Best burgers on campus,” College sophomore Matt Hanessian said.
Whitaker said that Copa hopes to revive Wednesday nights in the future, complete with doorman and DJ, but that the restaurant is doing well for now.
“We cater to everyone,” he said.Comments powered by Disqus
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