Students Denied Service

Three Dartmouth students of legal drinking age were refused service at Salt Hill Pub.

Three Dartmouth students of legal drinking age were refused service at Salt Hill Pub.

On Wednesday night, three Dartmouth students—one ’15 and two ‘16s—went to Molly’s to celebrate one of the aforementioned ‘16s’ twenty-first birthday. After the trio indulged in a few margaritas, a waitress informed them that the restaurant would be closing imminently. She mentioned that several members of the Molly’s staff would be heading to Salt Hill Pub for Karaoke Night, and advised them to follow suit.

The revelers obliged, and moved their celebration down the street to Salt Hill. After enjoying a round of drinks, the students settled into their booth and observed the drunken karaoke. However, upon ordering a second round of drinks, they were told by restaurant management that the ages on their IDs—all three are 21—indicated the potential for high-risk drinking. Salt Hill Pub refused to serve the three students any more alcohol.

All bars and restaurants reserve the right to refuse service to patrons. However, that right is generally exercised only when patrons are unruly, belligerent, or excessively intoxicated. The reason cited by Salt Hill’s management for refusing service to the three students—their demographic’s tendency to drink in excess—suggests a worrying development. It is likely that the Molly’s staff in attendance at Salt Hill Pub that night tipped off the restaurant management to the presence of newly legal drinkers. But why would a restaurant deny service to a tame and jovial group of law-abiding citizens? We at The Review hope this was merely an isolated incident and not part of larger trend toward limiting student autonomy on and around campus.