The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will revisit the issue on whether to allow minors in music and art venues where alcohol is served. The ‘Minor Postings
' ruling will be addressed at the public hearing on Feb. 22 at the OLCC's headquarters on McLoughlin Boulevard. OLCC already rejected an amendment to allow minors in multi-use venues with a 3-2 vote in December
but decided to review the issue this month to see how these venues are holding up.
Jenifer Huntsman, OLCC's rules coordinator, says the commission will be looking at three things for the minor postings rule which goes to vote in April.
• The changes made would allow for ‘control plans', meaning that multi-use venues would have to submit a plan to the OLCC explaining the actions it would take to ensure minors didn't come in contact with alcohol during various events.
• The OLCC is going to make these control plans enforceable. Huntsman says: “We are tailoring [the proposed amendments] to make sense—we've already been doing that.” But she says that one of the reasons the commission is making a new minor posting is to group together all of these venues with multi-purpose activities. “We're putting it in a language where it's enforceable and also one so that we could change your posting if you aren't doing what activities you said you were doing,” she says.
• Finally, the OLCC is changing the definition of ‘drinking environment' so that it can encompass more venues, like the family-friendly McMenamins. “We've hinged on food before,” Huntsman says, “back in the day you were either a bar or tavern. Now we have a lot more mutations.” She says the OLCC will define drinking area as any place where drinking predominates eating or any other activity.
A good amount of venues in Portland fall under this gray category of mix-use. Places such as Dante's
on Southwest 3rd Avenue have concerts as well club space. Huntsman says that this is one of the OLCC's major substantive overhauls when it comes to the minor postings rule and recommends anyone from the public to come to the Friday hearing. From there, she will collect comments and suggestions and present them in a report to the commission board to vote on in April. Stay tuned.