Streetalk February 19 2004

After weeks of early closings, what has changed at your bar?

Robin: I had nights where I walked home with $300; now it’s almost cut in half. People are not coming out at 1 in the morning when they know last call is an hour-and-a-half away. People that leave late to go out aren’t going out late anymore. So we’re losing clientele on both ends. We’re getting double-fucked. We used to be slammed at 2. People who make the laws aren’t the ones slinging beers for money. It’s been a big screw job.

Kathy: Last Saturday, since we have to kick out everybody at 3 and they still feel like partying, there were three fights outside our window. We never saw street fights going on before. When the bar opened later, people filtered out slowly. And it makes everybody a little more competitive in the industry for customers. It means more tolerance of inappropriate behavior. You need more money, so you’ll put up with more shit from people. I’m happy to get more sleep, but I’m losing anywhere from $200 to $300 a week.

Dave: Monday and Tuesday nights are our late nights and busiest nights. But the crowds are coming at the exact same time they used to. They’re still coming in 12:30 a.m. or 1, so we’ve seen our business go down 30 percent. And they’re not ready to leave. Now we have to shout it out, turn the lights on and off, like kindergarten. We tell them, “Don’t bitch at us. Register to vote.” It stinks. It almost seems like a complete underhanded ploy just to save Underground, again.