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Club Fever opens to over-18 crowd

Madeline Buckley | Friday, February 27, 2009

For the first time ever, the popular South Bend nightclub Club Fever will host an event for young adults under 21 tonight, according to club owner Dee Davis.

Anyone with identification proving they are over 18 years of age will be admitted into the Green Room, located in the basement of the club. Alcohol will not be allowed in the Green Room, and the bar at Club Fever will be roped off, Davis said.

Davis said the club has allowed private parties to use the Green Room and admit those underage, but the club itself has never hosted something like this.

“We’re going to try it out this is the first time,” he said. “If this works out and everyone behaves themselves, we could try it out on a regular basis.”

Davis said the club’s usual Thursday night disc jockey will work in the Green Room, and instead of alcohol, the bar will be stocked with sodas and energy drinks.

Those who are 21 or over can go back and forth between the parties if they wish, he said.

Davis said he believes there is a market for underage students, offering a place to hang out because many are often caught trying to sneak into the club.

“We have so many of them who try to sneak in and use fake IDs, so there’s a demand,” he said. “I would say about 20 to 25 are usually caught on a Thursday night.”

If all goes well at the event tonight, Davis said the club may try to reach out to those under 21 on a regular basis.

“We can give them a place to dance and make a couple bucks for sodas and food,” he said. “But we want to see how this one goes. We are going to play it by ear for now.”

Davis said if anyone underage comes to the party and appears intoxicated, the individual will not be admitted into the club.

“We will kick them out for sure,” he said. “There will be police there.”

Sophomore Carolyn Conley, 19, said she thought it would be a good idea for the club to reach out to underage students.

“For the most part, Notre Dame doesn’t have a lot of options for what to do on weekends, except for dorm parties and parties off campus,” she said. “This sounds like a good opportunity for students under 21 to go off campus and meet up with friends.”

There is a lack of venues in South Bend where underage students can interact with each other off campus, Conley said.

“If Fever had an under-21 night, you would run into different people than you would normally,” Conley said.

Sophomore Gabby Moriel, 20, said she also thinks a regular event for underage young adults would be popular among students, but she said if the party tonight goes well, the club should considering integrating the overage and underage venues.

“The clubs by my house let you in if you’re 18 or over, but you get a wristband if you are 21 and can be served alcohol,” she said. “If things go well, maybe they can try the wristband thing.”

Moriel said allowing students over 18 into the bar will fill a void in the market for fun weekend events for students between 18 and 20.

“I think they would get a lot of business because there isn’t much else to do,” she said.