The Blockley responds to the recent Liquor Control Board raid (and Fox News’ coverage)
Earlier today, we mentioned that the local Fox News affiliate had run a story about a Liquor Control Board raid at The Blockley last night. (According to the story, close to 40 students were issued citations for underage drinking, and four bartenders were arrested.) Not too long after we posted about the story, we heard from Chris Perella, who handles booking and promotions at venue. Perella asked if we’d be willing to run the venue’s response, and we told him we’d be happy to oblige. You can read the venue’s response to last night’s raid below.
The Blockley, as many may have heard by now, was raided by the Liquor Control Board last evening. This incident has made it to several news sources, blogs, etc., and the details that have been released are limited in scope and fail to even make mention of the bigger problem, fake IDs.
The Blockley sits between two college campuses. We host concerts five nights each week, often with nationally touring artists. Thursday night is the only night of the week that is geared towards a younger college crowd. We are keenly aware of the risk that underage students pose to bars, clubs and venues. Our policy is to scrupulously check identification for every person that walks through the door. The only acceptable forms of ID are a driver’s license or a passport, with no exceptions. This is our policy every single night, regardless of the show or the event. Our security guards who check IDs at the door are trained professionals and they are consistent in their performance. No one is allowed into the Blockley without a valid form of identification. Period.
A quick search of the internet will reveal major issues, nationwide, with regards to the sophistication and ease of acquiring fake identification cards, primarily from China. These IDs are sophisticated to the point where they even include a perfect hologram representation and scan properly. They are affordable, easy to obtain and nearly impossible to detect, even to a trained eye. In a recent study, it is estimated that 50% of underage college students have fake IDs. Every single person in the building last night had presented an acceptable ID at the door. We had over 500 patrons at the time of the raid and approximately 32 were found to have fake IDs. Prior to this, our security turned away more than 100 students attempting to enter with no ID or a detected fake ID.
Other bars within blocks were raided at the same time as The Blockley. However, Fox News and other outlets failed to report these incidents, instead focusing on only the Blockley. We invite Fox to attend tonight’s Tommy Conwell concert, or Tim Reynolds, Beth Hart, or any other nationally renowned artist that comes through on a weekly basis. We will let them decide whether or not we are doing our job properly instead of simply providing footage of bartenders being led away in handcuffs.
We do an excellent job checking identification at the door and will learn from this experience and hopefully get even better at detecting fake IDs. We are proud of the cooperation that we have shown, and will continue to show, at all times to the local police, University of Pennsylvania Police, and all other relevant authorities. It is unfortunate that in spite of our rigorous efforts to combat the rampant use of fake identification, we are still treated as the villain and face severe fines, temporary closing or even a revocation of our liquor license.
As the response mentions, tonight’s show with Tommy Conwell is still on.