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Westwood bars see increase of students after alcohol ban at fraternity parties

More students have been visiting bars in Westwood, including Rocco's Tavern and Barney's Beanery, following the Interfratnerity Council's ban on alcohol at in-house events January. (Kristie-Valerie Hoang/Assistant Photo editor)

This article was updated May 3 at 12:25 p.m.

Westwood bars have been serving more UCLA students following a recent alcohol ban at fraternity parties.

The Interfraternity Council banned UCLA fraternities indefinitely from hosting in-house parties with alcohol on Jan. 16. The ban followed an alleged sexual assault that took place in the North Village and led to a student’s arrest.

As a result of the ban, students are increasingly frequenting bars around Westwood, including Rocco’s Tavern and Barney’s Beanery. Students have also been going to fraternity parties at other schools, including ones at the University of Southern California.

Adolfo Espinoza, general manager for Rocco’s, said the alcohol ban has brought more students to the bar, but bartenders are now more cautious about cases of underage drinking because there are more student customers.

However, AJ Sacher, director of operations at Barney’s, said he does not know if he can attribute the increase of students in Barney’s to the ban. Sacher said a large number of students usually frequent the bars in the first few weeks after returning from winter break.

“Each year we have an increase in business around this time of year,” he said. “After the holidays and when school starts back up, we generally see more students, faculty and staff in the business. Because of this, it’s too early to tell if there are other factors like this ban that are having an effect.”

Some students, including those in Greek life, said they think the ban has encouraged students to stay at the bars more frequently because alcohol is no longer as accessible in Greek life.

Anton Citko, a business economics student and a member of a fraternity, said he has seen people taking uberPOOLs to nearby schools to attend fraternity parties.

“A lot of my friends that are girls have been taking cars to USC for their frat parties,” he said. “I haven’t been to any bars here, but since guys have a much harder time getting into other schools’ parties, it would make sense that places like Rocco’s are seeing more college students.”

Adam Schreck, a biology student who is also a member of a fraternity, said he has also seen longer lines and people staying longer than usual at Rocco’s.

“Not only are lines longer, but the venue is more crowded for longer periods of time,” he said. “People usually went there to pregame for frat parties, but now there’s nothing to pregame for.”

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