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Bars entice students with drink challenges

By Amelia Wester
On August 31, 2012

In the midst of classes, work and endless amounts of homework, students need to find a way to blow off steam. A way some students choose to do this is by participating in drinking challenges that different bars offer Uptown.

A well-known challenge is the 14-Day challenge at CJ's bar, in which participants purchase three drinks per day for 14 days and at the end receive a T-shirt and a place on the wall of fame.

Students pushed for the creation of the 14-Day Club, CJ's manager James Wenstrup said. "[It's] a point of pride to say 'yes I've accomplished this.'"

The challenge can be fun but also hard, some students said.

"You have to do it consecutively, and sometimes on a Monday night you don't want to get drinks," junior Emily Justice and current 14-Day Club participant said.

Despite this potential setback, Justice decided to participate in the challenge because she said it seemed like fun.

Steinkeller also has a challenge for its customers called Das Boot. It requires participants to purchase a two-liter glass boot of beer, which they get to keep if they finish it, according to junior JaMalle Flournoy.

"[My friends] always tell me different strategies of how to complete it, though I've never done one myself," he said.

Steinkeller used to offer the 20-Liter challenge as well, Victoria Vynes, assistant manager, said. In order to complete this challenge, participants were required to drink one liter each of the 20 beers that Steinkeller offers. Participants were given a period of one school year to complete the challenge and those who successfully completed it were given a T-shirt.

"I liked it and thought it was cool," Vynes said. "It brought people back."

Vynes said that the challenge was popular, estimating that over the years about 100 people took part. However, this challenge was discontinued years ago, which Vynes attributes to the task of keeping track of all participants.

Another popular Uptown spot, Skippers Pub, has taken a different approach to keep customers coming back.

While Skippers does not offer any challenges like Steinkeller or CJ's, they do offer discounted drinking days.

These discounts for drinking are as close as Skippers has to challenges for legal reasons, Johnson said.

He said that in the state of Ohio, it is illegal to give people an incentive, such as a free T-shirt, to drink. In order to be legal, all "prizes" won from a drinking challenge must be bought by the participant.

Sgt. Jon Varley of the Oxford Police Department, confirmed that the practice of offering incentives to drink is illegal in Ohio.

"[Many establishments] package it as something else, such as a celebration, which makes it legal."

Flournoy said he thinks it's a good business strategy for bars.

"[Drinking is] something that a lot of people partake in anyway," Flournoy said. "At least this way, bars are making even more money off of an already common occurrence."


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