Bars prepare for onslaught of party-goers

Bars, pubs, and clubs are barraged with thousands of drunken party-goers this weekend, posing challenges for owners and police alike.

Given the amount of people who have been ‘pre-drinking’ all day and are intoxicated by the time they arrive downtown, “you’re stopping at least 95% of your problems at the front door,” said York Entertainment head Steve Monuk, adding that rule applies regardless of holidays or special events.

“Staff have to be more diligent and they have to (enforce) the rules and (assess) the situation a little bit more than usual.”

He likens St. Patty’s Day to Canada Day or New Year’s Eve, in that “it’s not so much the binge-drinking, it’s just people that usually don’t come out,” said Monuk.

“They don’t frequent establishments, but because of those days, they go out.”

Monuk compares the influx to Christmas shopping.

“They may not be shoppers all year long,” he said.

“They’re like ‘oh, it’s Christmas. I’ve got to go out and buy somebody something.'”

Nonetheless, crowds have diminished over the last 10 to 15 years, Monuk said.

“I don’t think these holidays are what they used to be. I’ve been in the business a long time,” he said.

An average Saturday night in the Market sees around 10,000 people.

York Entertainment runs a number of establishments downtown but for St. Patrick’s Day, “we won’t get busy until late afternoon,” he said.

Halloween is the most taxing holiday, said Monuk.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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