Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Local club, bar owners, police meet at Rue Bar to discuss safety

There was no lack of police officers at Rue Bar on Thursday night, but the music was off and no drinks were served.

Representatives from several local bars and clubs gathered at the bar for a meeting held by the City of Gainesville and Gainesville Police Department to promote a safer bar environment for the city's newest flock of students.

GPD Officer James Powell reviewed a long list of regulations that bars must abide by in order to run their businesses lawfully, including checking IDs for underage drinking.

"After we do these meetings we see a big improvement," Powell said. "The first semester is always harder for us with the influx of new students who want to go out and have a good time."

There will be heavy crackdowns on people who try to use a fake ID to drink illegally, which is a felony offense, Powell said.

Two large stacks of plastic cards were on the bar, representing only a fraction of the fake IDs that were confiscated in the last year.

Powell told bar owners to be cautious of people passing out inside the building, girls who've had too many drinks taking off their tops, and fights among security staff and bar patrons.

"Don't physically throw people out," he said. "You don't want to have a reputation as a bar that beats people up."

Kelly Huard, downtown project coordinator for the Community Redevelopment Agency, was also on hand to promote the Responsible Vendor Covenant.

The covenant is an agreement that bar and club owners can voluntarily sign stating that they play an active role in providing a safe and law-abiding business when it comes to serving alcohol.

"It's not a threatening thing to take power over the bar," Huard said. "It's for the safety of the patrons."

Huard said some of the bars that signed the agreement include Gator City, The Swamp, Grog House, XS, Copper Monkey and Calico Jacks.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

One of the benefits for bars that sign the covenant is that the Panhellenic Council and other UF Greek organizations have committed to only holding functions at establishments that have signed the agreement, according to Huard.

Similar meetings are held at the start of each semester so bar staff can keep up with any new trends or changes in the city's laws.

"It's impressive to see all the different parts of town represented here tonight," Powell said. "This is by far the best showing we've had."

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.