Under 25 Is Underage for Nantucket Bar [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Owning a restaurant or bar comes with so many regulations attached, it’s easy to want to throw in the towel.
If you’re under 25 years old, the Gazebo, a favored al fresco bar on Nantucket, won’t serve you. The owner of the beautiful Tavern Restaurant and Gazebo, Luke Tedeschi, has had it with ill-disciplined, noisy and rude 21-year-olds.
He should be glad his oceanside bar isn’t in Italy, where the legal drinking age is 16. Some places in India won’t serve you if you’re under 30 years old, and of course, there are still "dry counties" where sale of anything alcoholic is prohibited.
Flashbacks of "happy hour" have turned into an eleventh-hour attempt, with no free hors d’oeuvres to stop the out-of-control young partiers. Will it work? All things being equal, I think it’s very likely.
In the early '80s, I was the DJ at the posh nightclub, Jason’s, in Boston. The same problem faced them, too. There were six strapping doormen at the entrance who would single out the people they didn’t want to go in by asking for their photo ID, and then a second ID with a photo, and if they got that far, they’d ask for a third ID with a photo.
It’s true, the higher the drinking age, the more lives that are saved every year. Even though what Tedeschi is doing is not a common move, it’s far from unprecedented. A 2016 Food & Wine article reported that a scattering of restaurants from New York to Washington, D.C. enacted an age minimum of 24 or 25. One Long Island bar even set different age minimums for men and women.
I wish Tedeschi well. It’s difficult enough to keep a restaurant and bar business financially solvent nowadays. For all that, you can also bet that the fake ID artists are going to as busy as Piccadilly Circus.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.