A year ago KC Confidential cast its aspersions on the alcohol policies of The Cave, a four level nightclub buried in the bowels of the fancy-schmancy new Oread hotel on the KU campus in Lawrence.
After staying there a year ago this past New Year’s Eve, it seemed all too obvious that the club appeared to be a haven for some of the wide open, college party bar excesses described by Maria Juarez here three years ago in her column, “Open Letter to Hawk Whores.”
“What absolutely nauseates me is the downright shameful behavior displayed every Wednesday night within the five labyrinthine rooms of the most famous dive bar in Lawrence,” Juarez wrote. “I’m talking about Dollar Night at The Hawk.
“Of course, you have to tackle the lines first. These sloppy queues are as infamous as The Hawk itself, playing home to a parade of tenderfooted drinkers. 94% of you have a questionable form of identification, and those who don’t are too old to be there. Oh, and 89% of you are already blacked out. That’s fine. I’ve been among these statistics. What’s not fine is getting openly finger-banged, photographed, then voted out of your sorority like some nobody contestant on Survivor. Now your reputation is forever shit because you’ll always be known as that-girl-who-got-fingered-in-line-at-Dollar-Night. Is this reallyworth having some fingers shoved up your cooch? Absolutely not.”
Which brings us back to The Cave – which was busted this past week on suspicion that it broke liquor laws by giving away free drinks to women and cited for advertising as much. The bar was also called on the carpet for allowing a photo on its Twitter feed of a man who appeared to have passed out and wet his pants and sundry disturbances, including one last month that required police to send eight units to the club and use pepper spray to disperse an unruly crowd.
In a KC Confidential column that ran under the headline, “Unintended Mediocrity & Hedonism Collide on KU Campus at The Oread,” I reported one Lawrence nightclub owner’s concerns about evacuating the club were there to be an emergency, saying that, “They must have made a deal with the fire marshall to get that thing approved.”
That The Cave’s $45 New Year’s Eve package came with a whopping 15 drink tickets per person also struck me as extreme.
So that the club may have crossed some rather obvious liquor law taboo lines such promoting free drinks for women frankly comes as little surprise.
Because Lawrence is a college town and it’s hardly a secret that there’s a tendency to treat matters such as underage drinking with a lighter touch given given the university’s overwhelming contribution to the local economy.
The flip side of that turning of a blind eye:
“It’s tragic. It really is,” Juarez opined. “Especially when you scantily-clad ladies stumble out to the street in the middle of December and lie spread-eagle on the pavement.”
Then again, from a bar owner’s point of view lax ID checking and free drinks for women are just part of the cost of doing business.
“You can’t advertise it, but everybody gives free drinks to women at a bar,” says one tavern owner who asked not to be named. “It gets done all the time – the house buys a girl a drink. This is the reality of what happens. If you want to get some business and some girls come in, you give them free drinks so they’ll stay there. That’s what you need to do if you want to get a bunch of guys to come in.”