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July 14, 2011 |

Teenagers simply don't belong in bars


Inviting teenagers into a bar is always a dicey proposition, as the owners of Bar 2060 found out last weekend when their "teen night" event was shut down by Clive city officials. The party was planned for Friday, July 8 from 7 p.m. to midnight at 2060 N.W. 94th St. in Clive. A promotional video on YouTube, which has since been marked as "private," described the event as an "epic teen event of the summer." Bar 2060 is, without a doubt, a popular nightclub that attracts a younger crowd with its state-of-the-art sound and lights, well-known local DJs, bands, and live remix artists and producers from across the U.S. and overseas. But it is not a place for teens.

Yes, the party was to be alcohol free, as Bar 2060's owners assured Clive police they would remove all alcohol from the property. In a July 8 Des Moines Register story, Kenji Nakata, one of the bar's owners, said his conversation with police led him to believe that what they were doing would be legal. But not so fast, said Clive Mayor Scott Cirksena and the council at their July 7 meeting. They felt Bar 2060's teen party would violate the city's ordinance, which says that minors can be in bars during special events but must have parents or guardians present. Their law is clear.

Clive has long been known as a nightlife and entertainment hub, from its Clive After Five events, to some of the most established bars in the area, to the largest tent parties ever hosted in the state. But the city of Clive is known and respected for much more than bars, and Cirksena and the council were correct in putting the hammer down on this teen event. The unfortunate part is that so much planning and effort had already been underway, and the bar owners felt they took the necessary steps to operate under the law.

The lesson learned here is simple: Keep teens out of bars, for any reason. In just a few years, they can make their own decisions on whether or not to patronize bars, and they can do so legally. CV