My Turn, Your Turn: Downtown Wilmington Bars

WILMINGTON -- It's probably a good bet I don't fit the demographic bar owners in downtown Wilmington are trying to attract.  And that doesn't bother me.  They want a younger crowd and they have the right to market their services to whatever group they choose.

But something else does bother me.  Mayor Saffo recently discovered sailors on the USS North Carolina had difficulty getting in several bars during their visit to Wilmington.  At a meeting last week, bar owners put the blame on a state law that requires a customer to have a club membership before being admitted.  And since servicemen don't typically have those memberships - they have trouble getting in.

Well here's the problem with that excuse - its hogwash!  The law is on the books - but the bars selectively abide by it.  Go ahead - ask anyone you know in their 20's that frequents downtown Wilmington.  They'll tell you they've never had a problem getting into bars - and I'd bet most of them do not have membership cards.

I would have more respect if the bar owners would just say servicemen tend to be rowdy and get out of hand.  But instead they hide behind a law that enables a discriminatory practice.  They should be made to abide by the law - always.  Or quit using it as a tool to justify their unfair practices.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment or anything else, email me at