Those who enjoy spending weekend nights at Moonies are now going to have to bring more than just their IDs and dance moves in order to get in.
The Ithaca bar and nightclub is now charging $2 for entry for anyone after 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The new cover charge went into effect Sept. 22.
Moonies’ implementation of this new cover charge is not for the purpose of increasing revenue, but rather to get customers in at an earlier time, Jack Kempner, Ithaca College senior and bartender at Moonies, said.
“The cover charge came because we noticed that the nights were starting a lot later,” Kempner said. “Patrons were getting there between midnight and 12:30 a.m.,” Kempner said. “We really wanted to incentivize people getting there before 11 p.m. and starting the night earlier.”
Kempner said Moonies’ method for getting customers in earlier has been successful so far. Although he said he has not seen a change in the amount number of people coming to the bar, he has seen business pick up earlier in the night.
“We’ve noticed there has been a big change since the cover went in, and the place is seeing far more people before 11 p.m. than it did before the cover fee was implemented,” Kempner said.
Senior Tom Grogan said he was upset when he found out about the cover fee and that he could not understand why Moonies decided to make this change.
“No other bar in The Commons charges a cover fee, so why should Moonies start charging one?” Grogan said.
Brian Falvey, manager of Moonies, declined to comment.
Senior Mike Shaw said it would not prevent him from continuing to go. He said he is sympathetic to the new policy due to the fact that often businesses need to make adjustments in order to thrive.
“I understand if Brian needs to make some changes to his business in order to keep it running smoothly,” Shaw said.
Shaw said he thinks the cover charge will lead people to search for an alternative bar, which creates more competition among bars located on The Commons.
“While I’m going to continue to go to Moonies, I know a lot of people might not want to pay that fee, and they’ll look elsewhere,” Shaw said. “He’s competing just as much now with Lot 10, so this new move has created more competition.”
Senior Sarah Tracey said the cover charge is too much to ask and that she will not be going to Moonies anymore.
“I usually go to Lot 10 or the Chanti or Silky Jones anyway,” Tracey said. “This new fee is the final reason not to go to Moonies, and I can definitely see it deterring a lot of people from going.”
Jeremy Hummel, bar manager at Kilpatrick’s Publick House, said Ithaca already has a competitive bar scene, so he thinks this fee will not benefit Moonies. At his bar, there is no cover fee to get in. He said he thinks the charge will drive business away from Moonies in the future.
“There are a handful of bars, and they are all in a very close proximity, so I feel this will make a big difference,” he said.