The Oliver’s saga ensues

I have a couple of interviews to go up- hopefully that will take place tomorrow, but it really depends on whether I have the time to break them into chunks sufficiently small for my hosting service. I also plan to comment on the (truly promising) stuff that NCC Chair Russell Mills mused about in Randall Denley’s column in today’s Citizen, especially about developing parts of the greenbelt. If you are opposed to Urban Sprawl and think that it is a tragedy that so much of this city lives far away in places like mars and venus Kanata and Orleans, you should be opposed to the greenbelt status quo.

But I have stuff to do today, and something is angering me more: Oliver’s, the largest bar at Carleton, getting shut down for license violations. You can read about it here.

Now, normally you’d think “liquor license violation” and “serving to minors” would go hand in hand at a campus pub, but you’d be wrong. Oliver’s is actually, in my limited experience, pretty good at making sure that minors don’t get in. At night, you need a couple pieces of id, and they seem pretty thorough about inspecting drivers licenses. During the day, they have pretty good protections for friends buying friends beer. Even then, getting nailed for serving to minors is something that even the best and most thorough of bars can get caught for such things.

But this isn’t the problem. It’s because they were serving to people that were too drunk, and that these people were being served. From the Campus rag:

At the hearing, both representatives submitted an Agreed Statement of Facts, which stated that on four days between October 2006 and April 2007, police officers and/or liquor inspectors observed drunken patrons in the pub. It was also agreed that in February 2007, police officers observed drunken patrons being served alcohol. The AGCO withdrew other allegations.

What’s more, it wasn’t the first time:

Oliver’s had its licence suspended for 14 days in 2003 for serving alcohol after hours, according to Campion. This is the second time CUSA has pleaded guilty of being in violation of the Liquor License Act.

Not to pick nits, but I’m pretty sure that in the latter case they were caught serving before they were supposed to, but whatever.

In any case, the problem with both of these situations is that they are easily avoided by keeping a watchful eye on patrons, both at the bar and at the tables. Oliver’s consistently hemorrhages money (something that will only be compounded this year with it being closed for 12% of the time that it is actually open), so it is important to be ruthless to make sure that it does not get dinged with fines that could otherwise be avoided. Is it sometimes too busy to keep an eye on everyone? Then hire more staff. That’s how businesses should be run.

But while the money annoys me, my principal concern is that serving to those that should be put in a cab is unsafe. People that are too drunk help start the fights that have gotten the bar into trouble in the past, but they also end up presenting a danger to themselves in any number of ways. Any bar must bear the responsibility for those that it serves in this regard, but a campus bar that is run by student governments should be even more cognizant of this.