State Patty’s Day Bar Closures On the Table
Members of the Tavern Association of State College met at Old Main Friday afternoon to discuss the possibility of closing bars on State Patty’s Day. A decision has not been announced yet and members of the association could not be reached for comment.
Bar owners met with the Campus-Community Partnership on Dangerous Drinking, which includes Damon Sims, Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs; Tom Fountaine, State College Borough Manager; and numerous student leaders.
Rathskeller owner Duke Gastiger said that no agreement had been met Friday afternoon, and that more time was needed to “mull it over.” He added that Tavern Association members were all considering what they “can do to help.”
Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs, told the Centre Daily Times that the Partnership is trying to stop the downtown, student-created drinking holiday, and one of those ways may be by paying bar owners to close their doors next Saturday, thereby compensating them for at least some of the revenue that would be lost.
In an email to the CDT, Sims said, “The Partnership certainly understands the business realities these owners and managers face, and it appreciates the need to recognize the financial implications this request may have […] If a payment is required to achieve this end, we’ll certainly entertain that possibility and agree to a reasonable sum.”
Gastiger said there were “all kinds of things [proposals] going back and forth.”
Many downtown bars altered their hours or closed entirely for last year’s holiday, and police have already announced stricter and more permanent consequences for those cited this year.
Despite this possibility, it remains unlikely that drinking will stop altogether, but instead will probably move into apartments and other private residences as students celebrate the holiday of inebriation for the seventh time.