Your favourite local bar downtown may be more packed than usual on the weekends, as college and university students are back in town and ready to go out. But for those students who this may be your first time allowed into a bar, you may be wondering just how safe it really is. Well you don’t have to worry, as your local bars work as hard as possible to ensure all of their customers, especially young students, are happy and safe while partying.
Ron Scarfone, the general manager at Joe Kool’s downtown, is just one example of a bar owner who works extremely hard to ensure that students are safe throughout the school year.
“On a busy night here, we’ll have 10 security staff on that are full equip with radios and they’re all certified,” Ron explains. “We have 16 surveillance cameras and the London Police are good friends of ours, so they like to hang out around our building on busy nights… we feel like we have a pretty good handle on what goes on.”
Another bar that students will be flooding is McCabes, but they are ready for the high volumes and excited that the students are back. Similar to Joe Kool’s, they have security and only one entrance point. And although they would love to have a full pub, the manager, Olivia Smith says that they are strict on behavior, and if you take part in any misdemeanor you will be kicked out of the bar.
College and university students want to be able to go out on the weekend with their friends, but some students come into college and aren’t 19 years old and fake ID’s often get tried at the door.
“Our security are very on top of it, they ID everyone at the door,” Smith says, “we also encourage all of our staff to ID anyone who looks under 30, regardless of whether we have security at the door or not.”
Some of the bars on Richmond have been around for many years and know how to work around the rush of students that come in, but for The Pub who just opened in May of this year, they were faced with the unexpected. Laura Nielson-Murray, the general manager, prioritizes keeping students safe.
“Staffing is one of the main priorities,” Murray says, “we keep everyone in the know, with the management teams there is always someone working, there’s someone on duty always. We man our doors with security as well, to make sure everyone is IDed.”
Murray adds that protecting females in her bar is crucial. She explained that there are posters in their bathrooms to let females know that if they need help, or feel uncomfortable, that they can go up to a staff member and ask for assistance.
“As a society, we’re big about consent and knowing when to say no,” Murray says, “and it’s very interesting when you go to bars that it’s like that’s been thrown out the window, where a person can go up to anybody and think it’s okay to touch them inappropriately and that that’s okay because they’re at a bar, but in reality that’s not okay…and just because you’re in a bar does not mean that those rules of society suddenly change.”
Murray adds that her staff is trained to pay close attention to all situations to be able to recognize if someone needs assistance with anything.