Macon bar owners react to proposed bar age limit ordinance
Some said this would impact their business tremendously since 18 and 20 year-olds buy tickets to their concerts.
Others feel this needs to happen because the risk of underage drinking is so high.
The proposed ordinance makes it illegal for anyone under 21 to not enter a bar or stand outside of it.
Macon-Bibb Commissioner Scotty Shephard believes the proposed ordinance needs to be put in place to stop underage drinking.
“Eliminating those young people and taking them away from the alcohol.. I think it’s going to be safer,” said Shephard.
Rick Hill, owner of The Crazy Bull, said this would hurt his business because he pays a lot of money for bands to come perform at his bar.
“I depend on the 18 to 20 year olds coming in and paying an extra 5-dollars above my ticket price to help absorb some of that cost,” explained Hill.
The owner of Tic Toc Room and Barefoot Tavern, Cesare Mammarella, believes there are some problems Downtown, but this isn’t the way to handle them.
“I appreciate the fact that they are addressing the issue, because there is an issue, but, I think this is an overkill,” explained Mammarella.
Both Hill and Mammarella said this could affect all the work Mercer University is doing to try and bring more students to Downtown.
“Where does a freshman, a sophomore, or a junior from Mercer go if they want to catch a show at one of the venues Downtown?” asked Mammarella.
However, there are some bar owners who believe this ordinance is necessary.
“Minors in the bars are really nothing more than a liability. You gain nothing by having them in your club,” said Phillip Sinclair, co-owner of Element Nightclub.
He said he’s had problems with underage people fighting outside of his club.
“If you aren’t old enough to be in a bar, you’re not old enough to be drinking… You don’t need to be hanging out in front of a bar or anything like that,” said Sinclair.
Sheriff David Davis said there are some issues with the proposal that still need to be worked out, but he ultimately believes this is a step in the right direction.
“There’s a lot of different complexities to any type of measure like this…. then the general public has a chance to weigh in, hopefully we can get sort of a reasonable ordinance passed,” said Sheriff Davis.
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