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Monday, September 15, 2008

"You Must Look This Old To Enter This Bar"

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 11:01 PM

I realize bars plagued by the college crowd may often be on the receiving end of generally inappropriate behavior: poor tipping, the occasional vomit-y bathroom, defacement of property due to Greek letters being etched into tables, a lack of appreciation of aged cheeses (this is more of a Velveeta crowd). But to the proprietors and employees of the Columns and the Delachaise — your dislike for the college crowd, which you will inevitably serve because of your location, does not justify poor service.?


One night in May, I was celebrating a friend’s twenty-first birthday at the Delachaise with about seven other over-21 friends. After being asked for identification multiple times and talked about —within earshot — from behind the bar, an “employee” from the bar approached us and asked for our IDs again. I politely responded: “In all due respect, we were already carded three times.” The man then launched into a profanity-laden tirade and then demanded once again to see our IDs. As he checked our licenses, he made lewd comments about how we looked in our pictures. Even after our ages were established, he continued on his tirade that culminated with “no body gives a f— what you think until you’re 30.”


As the Delachaise is known for poor service to anyone not conveying an adequate degree of snobbishness, I was upset but ultimately dismissed it as an isolated experience. My mistake — just last week, I went to have a drink at the Columns with a friend. We presented our IDs — both valid, Louisiana licenses, both containing pictures that resembled its owners — only to have them thrown back at us. “These are fake,” the bartender said. The situation escalated, choice words were exchanged, she threatened to call the police and/or spray us with what looked like soda. We tried producing alternate forms of ID — my friend even showed her birth certificate! I, however, do not keep my birth certificate on me in anticipation of such a situation.


First — I wasn’t aware that bar security was comparable to that of airports, and that I’d have to present at least three forms of ID to get a drink. Second — I’d like to attribute my experiences to bad luck, but it seems like prejudice toward young people is at play. As I said earlier, college students aren’t always well behaved. But that kind of treatment only perpetuates such behavior, and shouldn’t be acceptable in the service industry at all.


We complained to the Columns owners, who were apologetic and even confided that they have had similar problems with that same bartender (who actually manages the bar) in the past. Our complaint to the Delachaise, however, was not so well received. They insisted that the man who approached us didn’t even work at the bar, although the entire bar staff witnessed the situation and did nothing about it. Oh well — while I may prefer paté over cheese fries, I’m willing to travel the extra distance to someplace where I’ll be treated with respect.

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