Statesboro to adopt underage permits for certain bars

The underage permit will allow patrons under the age of 21 to attend bars for live performances. It is expected to be enacted by the end of 2018.

Emma Smith

The Statesboro City Council voted to adopt an Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance amendment to create an “underage permit” for certain bars.

The permit will allow these bars to admit customers under 21 for live performances.

There is currently no set date for the permit to be adopted, but it is expected to be around the end of the year, City Attorney Cain Smith said.

The permit will be enacted in pubs and bars with fully-operating kitchens, Smith said.

Chapter six of the City of Statesboro Code of Ordinances defines a bar with kitchen as “any public place with its primary business being the service of alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption that has an adequate and sanitary kitchen and dining room equipment.”

A pub is any public place serving alcoholic beverages with “40 percent or more of its total annual gross sales of from the sale of prepared meals,” according to the code.

The permit also enables 18 to 20-year-olds to remain on the bars’ premises after 10 p.m.

“[With the permit], these establishments are able to choose their ‘Cinderella hour,’ or when everyone has to leave,” Smith said.

Owners of these bars are allowed to apply for an underage permit, and if they receive it they would be allowed to hold up to 12 events per year open to patrons under 21.

They would have to notify city hall no less than 10 business days prior to the events being held, which can only be under certain circumstances.

The kitchens must be open and serving food for the entire event, and all events must be either live musical concerts or performing arts presentations.

“It’s not like we’re just going to have an 18-and-up night, it’s got to be in conjunction with something,” Smith said.

Smith said the rules of the permit are in response to Michael’s Law.

Mayor Jonathan McCollar said he supports the decision to approve the law because he feels it allows establishments to create an environment for new Georgia Southern students.

“It offers business owners the opportunity to cater students coming to Statesboro that are going to be looking for things to do while providing a safe environment as well,” McCollar said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction as far as creating alcohol ordinances.”

For more information regarding the permit, contact Statesboro City Council at (912) 764-5468.

Emma Smith, The George-Anne News Editor, [email protected]