For those who fancy drinking pints of Guinness on weeknights, Kavanagh’s, a dimly-lit Irish pub on Chapel Street, will not be an option from Oct. 1 to Oct. 3.
The latest victim in a series of raids by the state Liquor Control Commission, the establishment has been forced to temporarily shut down and pay a fine of $750 for violation of underage drinking laws.
The penalties result from a Feb. 12, 2000, incident involving Winnie Ma ’01, who was 20 years old at the time. A waitress had served her two shots of tequila and a Long Island iced tea without asking for identification, said Maria Delaney, director of the Liquor Control Commission.
“So they shut us down, it’s not a big deal,” said a Kavanagh’s employee who would not give his name. “It’s a new commission and they’ve got a mandate, so they have to be relatively self-sustaining. They’ve shut down more than a hundred places in the past year. This isn’t an isolated incident.”
In fact, Kavanagh’s is already the third establishment to have a run-in with liquor authorities in the past month. The night of Sept. 12, liquor agents raided Naples Pizza and Restaurant and Toad’s Place, both undergraduate hot spots, for underage-drinking violations.
“I’m not too worried about all these crackdowns,” Mike Anastasio ’04 said. “They just mess around with these places a little. I went to Toad’s the next night and they weren’t any stricter with ID checks.”
Frank Patrick, manager of BAR on Crown Street, said these liquor raids varied from year to year.
“I don’t think much of it,” Patrick said. “It’s just something that comes and goes, and by now It’s become more of a routine. But I think the places that do get shut down ought to learn a lesson from it.”
The shutdown of Kavanagh’s came as a surprise to many undergraduates because it is mainly known as a bar that caters to businessmen and city residents.
“The crowd at Kavanagh’s seems like an older crowd of middle-aged die-hard regulars,” Lauren Beck ’04 said. “I can’t imagine that there’d be too many people trying to get in there with fakes.”
Although the three-day closure of Kavanagh’s will probably not affect many undergraduates, some believe the recent liquor raids may have an affect on social life at Yale.
“It gets on my nerves they’re just trying to shut down everything,” Jean-Paul Christophe ’04 said. “But I think it’s just something that people will have to think about more. Everyone’s still going to find ways to drink and somehow get around it, but they’ll just have to be smarter about it.”
Others think the recent troubles are just tired routines that will have no effect on Yale’s social scene.
“It’s a nuisance, but it’s not going to fundamentally change anything,” Anastasio said. “I think it’ll become an issue if they start targeting the big clubs, like Alchemy and Risk.”