The Jungle: ‘out of control’
Val Vita | Managing Editor
Kris Bogan frequently goes to The Jungle, a bar right across from campus. He says he has noticed that the atmosphere has changed since the bar started allowing people under the age of 21 to enter on Wednesday nights.
“It’s definitely getting out of control,” said Bogan, senior in psychology. “Last Wednesday (Aug. 22) was insane. It was so packed that the sky deck was actually shaking.”
A week earlier, on Aug. 15, Natalia Schneider says she came out of The Jungle with her leg bleeding.
“I was inside the bar, just talking to my friends, when I heard a burst,” said Schneider, junior in biology. “Everybody looked to the window, kind of scared. I felt that something had hit my leg. Then I realized that they were pieces of glass.”
Schneider says she wasn’t seriously hurt, though.
“I just know that I got two small cuts on my leg,” Schneider said. “Wednesday nights were never my favorites to go to The Jungle because it’s always too crowded.
On that same night, people were getting mad because of the time they had to wait in the line to get in.”
Melissa Churning says she has to wait around 20 minutes to get into the bar on Wednesdays.
“It started to be that crowded last month, which I found to be weird,” said Churning, senior in automotive technology and French. “I do not like how overcrowded it has gotten. There’s always pushing and shoving to get in.”
The Jungle has been open for people 18 and up since March, but the huge line at the door and crowded sky deck problems didn’t crop up until the summer.
“We expected that,” said Kyle Ozbun, manager of The Jungle. “We knew that allowing underage people to get in would be a good attraction.”
Ozbun says they don’t control the number of underage people who come on Wednesdays.
“But there’s a lot,” Ozbun said.
On Friday, Aug. 24, The Jungle closed the sky deck. Ozbun declined to comment why, simply saying, “The sky deck is closed for now.”
One of the security guards at the bar, who identified himself as B.K., says their initial concern about underage drinking has not been a problem. Though, B.K. says they are always watching them so it doesn’t happen.
“Especially, because on Wednesdays there are a lot of people here. A lot,” B.K. said. “But most of the underage people come here messed up already.”
B.K. says they now have 10 security guards on Wednesday nights, two of them at the door. He says they also created a new entrance solely for underage people, to prevent huge lines. Underage people pay a $5 cover charge to get in, and water, which is free on other nights, costs $1.50.
“It’s just another way for us to have income,” Ozbun said.
The owners of the bar also created a dress code, which is posted at the door. The new rules say that The Jungle doesn’t accept people wearing sunglasses, long chains, baggy shirts, baggy pants, baggy polos or wife-beater tops.
“We did that to have a more respectful establishment,” Ozbun said. “It brings less worry for customers and staff.”