Bar life in trouble: Police cracking down on bar presence

Macy Holloway

We sent our reporter Macy Holloway out this past Friday and Saturday night to observe the rising police presence at multiple bars in Statesboro.

From under-21-year-olds hiding in bathroom stalls to the Statesboro Police Department pulling over pedestrians, it was an interesting couple of nights for the bar life to say the least.

Flashing blue and white lights were the only ones you would have seen decorating The Plaza this past weekend as both Rude Rudy’s and Rum Runner’s were closed Friday and Saturday.

I arrived at The Plaza on Friday night around 11:30 p.m. and immediately noticed the three police officers standing outside of Retrievers along with one inside talking to a table of young women. While circling the strip of uncommonly empty bars, I also observed an additional three cop cars in front of The Tavern.

While Retrievers still allowed anyone under 21 to enter, they had a $5 cover charge and a large black ‘X’ marked on each of their hands along with a brown wristband. Anyone 21 or over received a bright green wristband and was charged no cover.

It was stated that when the officers initially entered Retrievers, they went around from table to table asking to see IDs. There was one young lady, who had reportedly been busted for a fake, standing outside with three officers for approximately 30-45 minutes.

As strange as it was for both Rudy’s and Rum’s to be closed for the night, it was even more peculiar to see pedestrians getting stopped walking into Dingus or just down the street back to their apartments. You couldn’t make more than two turns on Friday night without seeing a police car.

Chris Springfield, owner of South City Tavern, has confirmed that the establishment has stopped allowing under-21-year-olds into the premises. Springfield does not know if this will be permanent.

“Given the current climate with the bars and how the city is handling things right now, we felt like that was the best option to take,” Springfield said. “If the city doesn’t come up with some new solutions to the current underage drinking problem other than the one they have now, I think it’s going to kill everybody’s business completely.”

While leaving to go out on Friday, there were four police cars parked in front of Aspen Heights’ clubhouse for an unknown reason, and when I was returning later that night, two in the middle of the street. They were reportedly breaking up a house party and soon after began slowly riding around Aspen and talking to pedestrians.

If this past weekend gives us any inclination into the future of Statesboro’s social scene, students may just want to party where they pregame.

Tweets from students on police crackdown:

Alvaro Smith (@AlvaroSmith101)

9/12/14, 10:26 PM

Never seen statesboro this dead on a Friday night. #HailSouthern #Policeraids

Katie Elder ♈ (@kkatieelderr)

9/12/14, 4:44 PM

What is statesboro without the plaza fr tho….the bars are dead the town is dead

KaraQuick (@KaraQuick12)

9/12/14, 3:30 PM

I wanna get out of Statesboro so bad so I can actually go out and drink

DJ  (@dj_grimes13)

12:38 AM – 12 Sep 2014

Statesboro police are getting a little ridiculous

Ally collier  (@ally_collier)

10:59 PM – 12 Sep 2014

Cops are literally ruining statesboro…like no..bye. Let’s bring our bars back, k