Star Shooters will no longer be allowing entrance to minors after 10 p.m. on weekends.
The bar, located at 120 S. Michigan Ave., typically allows minors in if they pay a cover charge, but that is no longer the case. In a Facebook post from Feb. 15, Star Shooters said due to the recent extreme weather conditions and an increase in spring semester business, patrons under the age of 21 will not be admitted into the bar after 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
“Minors will not be admitted on Fridays and Saturdays after 10pm [sic] in order to keep the noise level down for the City of Big Rapids/our neighbors as well as limit the number of patrons standing inside in the dangerously cold weather,” the post said.
Nineteen-year-old Ferris dental hygiene sophomore Rylie Brunk said she goes to Star Shooters every weekend. While the changes won’t stop Brunk from going, she believes they are inconvenient and will likely deter many minors from visiting the bar.
“I think it’s not helping them. Some minors will go, I’ll probably still go, but a lot of people won’t and they’ll be losing money because 21 year-olds don’t pay to get in and not everyone drinks, but minors always have to pay.” Brunk said. “A lot of minors pregame before going to Shooters and if it’s 10 o’clock, they’re not about to be getting drunk at 9:50, so then if I want to go somewhere to drink, I’ll just go to a house party and that’s going to be just as noisy as Shooters.”
Brunk said the new rule might put minors in more danger.
“I think that’s less safe for minors because they’ll be looking for places they can go later and plus, it can be a farther walking distance and can make bad decisions more likely because there is no one in charge. No matter what, minors are still going to want to go to parties and they’re going to walk to other places and be in the cold, so Shooters isn’t really helping them with the temperature.”
Other minors agree with Brunk that partying elsewhere might be less safe.
“Shooters is pretty much the only club here in Big Rapids and it gives minors a chance to go have fun in a safe area. People don’t want to go to house parties all the time or a frat party,” Ferris general studies sophomore Lydia Reynolds said. “House parties are cool and all, but you never really know what you’re going to get when you go to a house party. You can go to a house party one weekend and it’s fine and dandy, then go to one the next weekend and it gets shut down. You just never know. While you’re at Shooters, you can be around people you want to be around in the same type of environment and still have fun but you’re just safer, it’s more public, there’s more people, there’s lights. It’s just more safe.”
As for the presumed noise complaints that played a part in the decision, many students voiced their belief that residents should understand that they are living near a college bar and not make noise complaints.
“Big Rapids is a small community, it’s not that big and they know that the majority of people that are here and the majority of people at Shooters are from the school, so I feel like they knew Shooters has been there, they know what’s going on so there is no need to complain. This is a college city. There’s going to be college students partying almost every weekend.” Reynolds said.
A Star Shooters representative was unavailable for comment.