“Eighteen years old. No less,” Riccardo Tarantoli recalls, walking alongside the long line of young people waiting to enter his restaurant, one of the best known in the center. A few minutes pass and two minors are seen “bouncing” at the entrance, after checking the vaccination certificate. “I’m very Taliban: here only adults,” says Tarantoli, president of Silb Firenze. The green pass isn’t the only control: «Whenever we have doubts, we also ask for an identity card. But we must remember that we are not policemen, nor do we have coercive powers ». Unlike what happened at Tenax – on Friday a 16-year-old ended up in an alcoholic coma, after exhibiting a false document on her smartphone at the entrance – not many here would use the digital device: “I didn’t notice this phenomenon.” The selection is out, but the bartenders still have to pay attention: “When a customer shows up at the altered counter, we only give him water. Whoever insists is accompanied to the exit ». Tarantoli’s recipe for solving the problem of collapsing minors is a return to the past: «In the evening, the disco for over 18. In the afternoon, for under 18, but alcohol free. I appeal to parents: do not send your underage children to dance at night. For 5-6 years the situation has worsened ». At the Space Electronic in via Palazzuolo, at 11pm, the bandone is not yet up, but the queue is long.
When the doors opens, the QR code of the green pass is the first thing that is scanned. Then the document. Andrea Bolognesi explains that there are many minors who try to deceive security: «They come with modified documents on their mobile phones, but also with copies of fake identity cards: we always expect the original. Otherwise there is the old excuse “I forgot them at home” ». Space, as a policy, has decided to organize only evenings over 18, with exceptions for school groups if there is the signature of the companion: «The alcohol abuse of minors is becoming unmanageable after the pandemic. I have colleagues who work in the summer clubs who told me they lived in hell ». Space tries to prevent the high with reservations: «We will continue even when there are no more anti Covid regulations: we take name, surname and telephone number. A deterrent for troublemakers ». Even the Yab nightclub aims only at events for adults, while minors can also access the Blue Velvet: “But we check the documents and everyone under 18 gets a plastic bracelet: so the bartenders know who they don’t dare to drink” , explains Pino Presta, historical Florentine deejay.
It is not the only measure: “To prevent the adult from taking the drink for the underage friend, we only serve one drink per customer.” Many try to enter with false documents: “Especially on telephones, and in fact we always ask for paper, but real counterfeiters have also happened: you have to be careful with stamps and watermarks”. Presta underlines the importance of prices: «Here the cocktails are 10-15 euros: too often convenience stores and pubs have very low costs and the boys arrive already drunk. In particular, foreigners ». Presta asks for the intervention of the institutions: “I would forbid entry to minors by law”. Also because, in addition to the health of the young people, it is the clubs themselves who lose out: «They make you shut down. But even when dealing with drunks of age there is nothing to lose: is it worth it for 10 euros more? ». The Blue Velvet has thought of the option of an afternoon disco, without serving alcohol: “But we have found little evidence, it has no appeal: it is a generation that at 15 already feels great”.
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April 9, 2022 | 11:44
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