Approximately 40 students from local universities were cited for underage drinking Nov. 3 following a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board raid of The Blockley Pourhouse at 38th and Chestnut streets.
Those cited were students of Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and St. Joseph’s University.
In addition, four bartenders from Blockley were arrested for serving alcohol to minors. The arrests attracted attention from a number of media sources, including Fox 29.
The same evening, students at other nearby bars were also cited for drinking. Representatives of Blockley argued that Fox 29 and other outlets failed to report these incidents, focusing attention on only one bar.
Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Bill La Torre told The Daily Pennsylvanian that a few patrons were cited for public drunkenness at Drinker’s West on 39th and Chestnut streets after being involved in a fight. Minors who were found throwing up in front of Cavanaugh’s Restaurant & Sports Bar at 39th and Sansom streets were also cited.
According to La Torre, all three bars were found in violation of their liquor licenses.
Blockley responded to the negative media attention with a statement blaming the incident on students’ increasingly easy access to fake IDs
According to Blockley’s official press release, “Every single person in the building last night had presented an acceptable ID at the door. We had over 500 patrons at the time of the raid, and approximately 32 were found to have fake IDs. Prior to this, our security turned away more than 100 students attempting to enter with no ID or a detected fake ID.”
Blockley was closed for the remainder of Thursday night but reopened Friday night.
The press release continued to state that “it is unfortunate that in spite of our rigorous efforts to combat the rampant use of fake identification, we are still treated as the villain and face severe fines, temporary closing or even a revocation of our liquor license.”
Blockley did not respond to two phone calls for further comment.