At the Monday night’s DeKalb City Council meeting members of the council heard arguments for allowing 19 and 20 year olds in local bars. A majority of council members believe it has merits but feel there needs to be additional information before making this a permanent change. DeKalb Police feel this may create problems in both enforcements and current regulations.
Ten years ago DeKalb had about eight college type bars and are now down to just two. The declining NIU enrollment and the higher number of NIU commuter students make nighttime activities not profitable. With the change in social behavior of current students and the profitability of adding additional patrons, it is an important issue for current bar and restaurant owners. The City of DeKalb and the university do not have any social options or activities for 18, 19 and 20-year-old students.
Local DeKalb restaurants/bars that serve food would benefit from this change as long as servers have proper training and certification.
Champaign (University of Illinois) allows 19 and 20-year-old students and young people to be inside most bars but not allowed to drink alcohol. There continues to be a push from some people who feel if 18-year-olds can enlist and serve in the military, they should be allowed to drink.