Thursday, July 05, 2007

Teens flood uptown on the Fourth

Cops on every corner. Cars pulled over along College and Tryon streets. Breathalyzers administered. Men in handcuffs. Swarms of teens pacing up and down Tryon.

That was the scene uptown last night about midnight. Clubs along Tryon Street were either closed or dead. Phil's Deli was the only place that was packed. (Considering Phil's only holds about 100 people, that's not saying much.)

The scene last night underscores two things about this city: 1) Officials are obsessed with protecting uptown (you could have been driving tore-down drunk anywhere else in the Charlotte and in no danger of being arrested), and 2) no one offers people under 21 decent nightlife options.

Co-worker Olivia Fortson has an idea I want you to consider. Since teens take over uptown on the Fourth of July, why not give them that night to party uptown? Clubs and bars along Tryon Street could hire DJs and extra security and admit only those under 21. The clubs could charge a cover and serve only non-alcoholic drinks (at increased prices).

What do bars and clubs along Tryon Street have to lose? Like I said, with the exception of Phil's, everything else was either closed or dead. As an adult, I had no desire to stay uptown and hang out with the cops and the kids.

What do you think? Could it work? Post your replies below.