Less than 25? This popular Nantucket bar might not serve you


“I don’t need the Spring Break type of attitude.”

The Gazebo Bar on Nantucket is only open to those 25 and older due to a new policy to reduce underage alcohol use. Luc Tedeschi

If you’re looking to celebrate your twenty-first birthday, don’t go to this Nantucket bar.

The Gazebo, a popular open-air bar, will no longer serve alcoholic beverages to those under 25. Tavern restaurant and Gazebo owner Luke Tedeschi made the switch just a week ago in a final attempt to reduce underage alcohol use. It got so bad that he felt he had to do something.

“What’s worse than I’ve ever seen is the number of minors trying to get in,” he told “Their ID cards these days are very difficult to detect, a lot of good ID cards will go through the scanners we have.”

Nantucket is “under attack” during the summer, Tedeschi said, and noted that the location of the oceanfront bar was another factor making his establishment so popular. He described how minors often claim to be only 21 years old. Therefore, setting the minimum age a little higher helps him and his staff to be sure that they are serving legal drinkers. It is also much less likely that an underage drinker will have ID showing that he is 25, Tedeschi said, and that it would be easy to determine he is underage if he did.

“If I am certain, and your ID is certain, and you are not here with hordes of children – inevitably, in the pack of hordes of children there are minors,” said he declared. “I’m using that as a deviation so say okay, it’s 25.… If you’re worthy and legitimately of legal age and you’re not smuggling minors… if you’re a 21-year-old couple and stacking up not and acting inappropriately, you are certainly welcome.

The Gazebo is a popular open-air oceanfront bar in downtown Nantucket. – Luc Tedeschi

While this is not a common gesture for bars, it is not without precedent. A 2016 Food & Wine article notes a handful of restaurants in New York City and Washington, DC that have implemented a minimum age of 24 or 25; one Long Island bar even has different minimum ages for men and women. Massachusetts liquor laws only mention age in the context of legal drinking age, and public accommodation laws only prohibit discrimination based on “race, color, religious belief, national origin, gender, disability (handicap), gender identity or sexual orientation in some places. public housing ”, including restaurants.

Tedeschi has operated the tavern and gazebo for 29 years and said that while underage alcohol use has always been a problem facing the industry, it has become particularly serious.

“It is a privilege to enter my establishment, not a right,” he said. “It’s a policy, and I never claimed it was a law, it’s my policy to run my establishment as I see fit.”

His restaurant, the Tavern, serves alcohol and has his own bar, but that’s not where he sees the problems. The Gazebo, however, is an outdoor bar open only for cocktail service and late at night.

“Underage drinking is a huge commitment to me as an owner, operator and licensee, and I don’t need to compromise my license to serve minors, that is, children” , did he declare. “I don’t need the Spring Break type attitude, it’s chasing people who can [drink] and are of legal age and are much more responsible and respectful not only to my staff and other clients.

Tedeschi said the bar turned over up to 20 suspected fake IDs to the Nantucket State Police barracks each day.

Tedeschi considers that increasing the minimum age is absolutely necessary, not only to limit alcohol consumption among minors, but also to protect against liability.

“If I lose business, I lose it to illegal drinkers, which puts everything I have at risk,” he said. “When drastic measures need to be taken, I am not afraid to take them no matter what the situation and it is about the protection of the establishment, the licensing and the limitation of alcohol consumption. in minors. “

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement