The bar and club scene in Minnesota was nearly crippled in 2007 when Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the “Freedom to Breathe Act”, which disallowed smoking in public venues. At the time, Minnesota was the twentieth state to pass such a law. Now the the bar and club scene in downtown Minneapolis faces new opposition—twenty-one plus only.
There are talks of making it so that all downtown Minneapolis bars and clubs having to become twenty-one plus only venues. Where does that leave those underage? Guess you all will have to find clubs closer to home that are still eighteen plus friendly, or you can go catch the new Harry Potter movie. No more checking out up and coming bands at First Avenue, free Flirt at Karma, or getting your mind blown by DJ Tiesto, Christopher Lawrence, or any other deejay that makes their way through the Twin Cities or that call Minnesota home.
The idea behind this is to detour underage drinking. The focus is being put on the clubs, but most who drink underage do so prior to them even making their way to the dance floor at the clubs. Saying its the club’s fault that these underage people are drunk isn’t fair or accurate. I think the city is allowing a few bad apples to ruin it for the rest of bunch who go downtown to have fun with friends sans alcohol. If you’re saying an eighteen year old kid can go to war, then why can’t this same kid come downtown and have a good time?
Another concern I have is that the bars and clubs in Minnesota, as well as businesses all over have been hurt with the recent downturn in the economy. If you limit their customer pool, then you’ll hurt their income. It would be like telling McDonald’s that they could only deal with people who drive gas friendly vehicles. Great idea to help the environment, but it isn’t going to help McDonald’s bottom line. The city has to think about the impact this could have on all downtown businesses.
Minneapolis has been fortunate enough to find owners who have revamped the bar and club scene in Minneapolis. I remember when I was younger, there weren’t a whole lot of options. Another problem was that you didn’t want to go to this bar or that club, because you weren’t sure how safe it was, but that has changed. The Quest was always in the news for some problem or another. The building was becoming run down. Anyone remember how your feet would stick to the floor? Now, with new ownership and a remodel, we have Epic Night Club, which has become one of the premiere entertainment spots in the state. I’m there quite a bit covering events and it’s very rare that I see a fight, or run into some sort of problem. So why punish clubs like Epic, by making this change?
This new change wouldn’t just hurt the bars and clubs, but would hurt promoters such as Kind Beats, ChozenOne Productionz, & Trilogy Productionz. Their events cater to the eighteen plus crowd. If this is changed, they’ll be forced to move their events elsewhere, or focus their attention on the older crowd. These promotional companies have formed good business relationships with the clubs downtown and would be forced to start relationships with club/bar owners outside the city. I’ve always liked that these guys throw events at different venues, but now they all might have to use the same venues outside of Minneapolis that will allow them to promote eighteen plus events.
I’m not trying to say I have all the answers, because I don’t, but there has to be a way around this. If there are two floors at a venue, then possibly not allow alcohol on the bottom floor, but then that would render the downstairs bars useless and could crowd the upstairs. Yeah, I know the answer isn’t easy to find, but there has to be a better solution then turning downtown Minneapolis into the Vegas Lite.
I truly hope this doesn’t happen. I don’t want to see business downtown hurt any more than it is. Through our time, Hmoodle has been helped out tremendously by the club owners and promoters who rely on big crowds coming to their events. We definitely want to see them to continue to thrive. If Minneapolis allows this to occur, will other municipalities follow suit? Lets just hope the dominoes don’t begin to fall with downtown Minneapolis.
If you want your voice heard and object to downtown Minneapolis going twenty-one plus, you can sign a petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopunder21/index.html
If you have any questions or comments concerning this, you can leave it them directly here, or you can send them to me at [email protected] (Ryan Madland)