Local bars target underage drinking as students return

South Bend, Ind. As thousands of college students return to South Bend for the new school year, many local bars and restaurants are increasing staffing at the door to set the tone against underage drinkers.

Students started trickling in earlier this week and Notre Dame welcomed its new class of freshmen to campus on Friday.

“When the kids come back, you know they're back,” said Joe Mittiga, owner of Corby’s Irish Pub. “They take over, so it's a lot of fun.”

Mittiga said business more than doubles when the students return for the fall and their business is well appreciated.

“It really has a palpable effect on the businesses around here for sure,” he said.

But with the increase in student patron, many bars have to make the extra effort to combat underage drinking.

“It's the same thing every year, the first week when they get back we’re extra vigilant with ID's at the door,” Mittiga said. “You set the tone early though and it kind of spreads throughout the semester and kids know that this isn’t the underage bar for sure.”

O’Rourke’s Public House is also ramping up security staffing as the students return to Eddy Street.

“We always have security on once it hits 10 o'clock and our servers are trained to ID anyone who looks under the age of 40,” said Teagan Lawson, manager at O’Rourkes.

Staffing will be heavier this weekend as the younger crowd begins to make its way back to the bars.

“It’s no fun for anyone if everybody has to get kicked out because we have underage kids so we definitely stock up and make sure we have as much security as we need for the night time,” Lawson said.

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