WOW Café and Wingery began selling alcohol this week after restaurant management and school administrators agreed on several methods to control underage drinking in the restaurant located in GW’s student center.
The city approved a liquor license for the year-old restaurant in early January. WOW is a national chain that is contracted by Sodexho and run by WOW employers. They began selling bottled beer and glasses of wine Feb. 14, said Nancy Haaga, managing director of campus support services.
One of the most significant methods to curb underage drinking in the establishment is an ID scanner sitting next to the cash register that allows employees to quickly determine an ID’s validity. WOW employees will also give wristbands to people who are drinking to prevent those students from sharing alcohol with students who are under 21.
Alcohol is served until 11:30 p.m. each day – 30 minutes before the restaurant closes. Patrons cannot bring alcohol outside WOW’s dining area.
Employees will patrol the restaurant’s seating area to ensure no underage drinking takes place.
“Any IDs that are determined to be fake will be immediately confiscated by the WOW Café staff member and (the University Police Department) will be contacted immediately,” Haaga said.
Though WOW restaurants nationwide have a wide selection of drinks and draft beers, the restaurant at Marvin Center is currently limiting the number of brands they sell.
There is no specific drink menu alongside the regular food menu. Instead there is a cooler next to the ordering station that holds the beer and wine.
Currently WOW offers counter service where patrons place an order at the register and a waiter brings their orders to a table. Haaga said the restaurant has no plans to move toward full-service in the near future.
WOW’s application to sell alcohol was actually a petition to amend the University’s current license to sell alcohol at Marvin Center. The University agreed to allow WOW to sell alcohol because it encourages students, faculty and staff to dine, socialize and congregate while staying on campus, she said.
Haaga said, “The addition of beer and wine service is an amenity that will make WOW an attractive venue option for students.”