Hey, there! Log in / Register

How first night of vaccine mandate went at one Boston club: Not well

On what was already looking to be a slow night due to the brutal cold and the (equally brutal) Pats game, the first night of Boston's requirement that people show proof of at least one Covid-19 shot at public indoor spaces did not go well at all, promoter Ace Gershfield reports from at Venu in the Theater District.

In a series of tweets that started at 11:08 p.m on Saturday, Gershfield writes:

We’ve been open for roughly 25mins so far tonight at @VenuBoston & have already turned away 20 guests for not having proof of vaccine, along with 1 VIP table of 8 ppl. That’s 28ppl we’ve turned away for business so far. Not looking good for us tonight.

Sitting in office now and phone keeps ringing with ppl asking if they can come in without vax cards. #1 reason has been they just flew back into town from being on winter break and haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet. Who knows if that’s the truth.

Now guests that have paid and gone inside club are coming back to register asking for refunds because their friends couldn’t get in. We might have to combine @VenuBoston & @iconnightclub1 [the sister Icon club next door] tonight to reduced staffing costs & create a better overall vibe. Next hour will determine.

Just spoke to my team at @iconnightclub1 they tell me we’ve turned away about 15ppl. Discussing if we should shut one club and combine at moment. We’re fully staffed at both clubs. It’s not about our costs as much as now sending staff home and they won’t get paid. Staff has paid for parking and driven into to work already. More staff coming to office saying groups of 4 and 5 just walking away after 1 person in group can’t come in..

Already working tonight against the Freezing cold weather, Pats game, and now these vaccine requirements are crushing us. Stay tuned for more updates.

At 11:39 p.m., he updated:

Up to roughly 43 ppl turned away so far at @VenuBoston door. Last customer worked at Childrens hospital, had his vac card but vax card didn’t have birth date in it so he was denied entry. Whole group left

Neighborhoods: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

I am willing to bet that in a single digit number of days we will be reading a story here about someone denied entry somewhere spitting in an employee's face or otherwise attacking them.

up
Voting closed 63

I'm waiting for this also. I give it about a week.

I replied to Ace under that thread about so many trying all at once. He rebutted me, but I have to remove my comment because I kept getting these stupid morons replying their anti-vax mandate concerns to me.

Troll-Away spray was used.

Unfortunately Troll-Away spray doesn't work in real life. I wish it did... maybe if it was mace..

up
Voting closed 40

FTFY

up
Voting closed 10

Maybe so. I do know, however, that this policy has been in place (and rigorously enforced) for months at Club Cafe in Boston. It’s a very popular club, and I don’t believe any staff have been spit on or attacked there. We’re also talking about bouncers, whose job is to kick people out or turn them away—people who might not be too pleased about it.

up
Voting closed 6

Well...... Club Cafe also has a specific demographic they attract, you know? People who are part of a community which in living memory also had a major pandemic where many many people died horribly....

Anecdotally, too, Club Cafe seems to attract more people who actually live in Boston as opposed to driving in from the exurbs for a night on the town.

So I'm not surprised there's a big difference in terms of reaction.

up
Voting closed 5

“Have been on winter break and just flew into town, haven’t been able to get vaccinated”

Yeah uhhh, don’t come to Boston from your winter break in XYZ without being vaccinated, first of all. We don’t want you

up
Voting closed 115

Are they students who were here last semester? They had plenty of time to get vaccinated.

Are they coming in from overseas? You can't enter the US now without being fully vaccinated.

There really isn't any place in the US where you could be for three weeks and not be able to get the vaccine at this point so if they're not vaccinated it's not for lack of ability so there is no reason at all not to turn them away for their weak sauce excuse.

up
Voting closed 68

The vaccine has been available for more than a year.

up
Voting closed 51

Where do these people go to school? Are there any higher ed institutions that do not require students and staff to be vaccinated? I just don't buy the "winter break" line. And regarding the hospital employee who was denied entry with a card that didn't have a birth date on it, if he had an employee id with him let him in. Hospitals are requiring staff be vaccinated.

up
Voting closed 10

Such a well run and above-board establishment surely shouldn't have to operate in such horrid conditions.

I suggest Ace acquire better social media skills and stop blaming others. Lots of places promoted the new policy via tweet/insta incessently and people abided.

Listen, it was 3 degrees out last night and Ace just sounds mad he didn't do what ANY manager or business owner would do in a not-ideal situation.

MANAGE EXPECTATIONS.

up
Voting closed 56

The bit about having two fully staffed clubs on a 3 degree day/big game/new mandate and not, you know, being a manager and a calling people off speaks to his overall inadequacy. If the hospitality industry refuses to pay their own staff a living wage the very least it can do is treat said staff with the respect they deserve and not waste anyone's time.

up
Voting closed 17

The number of people turned away will fall significantly by next weekend.

Either folks will get vaxxed, or they just won't come. In the case of these groups, sometimes they'll go somewhere else and sometimes they'll leave their one unvaxxed friend behind.

The whole point of policies like this is to induce (some) unvaxxed to get vaxxed. It will work here too. Some will get vaxxed. Others just won't ever go.

The end result is that the business, its employees, and the tax base is some amount worse off, and public health is some amount better off.

P.S. Nothing requires the business to send employees home early unpaid. The business could eat the cost (on that night) and adjust schedules going forward.

up
Voting closed 74

According to Massachusetts state law 454 CMR 27.04 (1) "If you were scheduled to work for 3 hours or more and get sent home, your employer must pay you for at least 3 hours at at least minimum wage."

up
Voting closed 11

The whole point of policies like this is to induce (some) unvaxxed to get vaxxed.

Maybe that's part of it, but the main point is to keep unvaccinated people out of places where they could catch the virus or infect others. That their unfortunate choices have a negative impact on businesses is collateral damage. It's too bad, but as you say, public health is better off.

up
Voting closed 21

they just flew back into town from being on winter break and haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet

"The dog ate my vaccine" is a better excuse than that.

up
Voting closed 140

And was surprised to find out that …

a) there are any colleges here which aren't requiring the vaccine (you now, winter break, students, etc)

b) you can only get the vaccine in Boston, not anywhere else in the country/world

c) there are that many students coming back from winter break who are old enough to go to the club (grad student researchers generally don't get weeks-long winter breaks)

What I suspect is going on is a bunch of underage kids with fake IDs suddenly realize that McLovin or whatever BS name is on their fake is not going to match the very real name on their vax card.

Also the birth date not being on the card? Give the kid a pen and let them write it in. That's … not hard!

up
Voting closed 110

I doubt this is the case for most of them, but I know the university I work for has vaccination clinics for students who weren't able to get vaccinated during break. I would guess that a lot of students and other young people assumed they'd be able to make appointments last minute, and that wasn't the case due to increased demand and staffing shortages. My (supposedly adult) kid waited until the last minute to try to schedule their booster before visiting and ended up having to take an appointment here in the midst of the visit because they couldn't find an earlier one where they live.

up
Voting closed 13

I think you're right about the assumptions. With that said...well, they were bad assumptions. The vaccines were available before break, the information about how long was required between shots was out there, so either they didn't bother to plan, or (another guess) they heard that a lot of people get a bit flu-like for a day or two after the vaccine, and they procrastinated because of that. Anyway, I'm glad that the university is making it as convenient as possible to get vaccinated now.

up
Voting closed 8

I bet people who don't want to get the vaccine will just start buying fake cards. Hopefully this will lead to many additional people getting vaccinated but that's unlikely given hoe politicized this issue has become.

up
Voting closed 17

oh they are already buying these cards. Its why this card system is a failure, too easy to fake and hard to verify that it isn't fake.

and I agree, I think anyone who wanted to be vaccinated would have already done so. The stragglers who do now are just a trickle of the rest who are unvaccinated.

and yeah such a 'political issue'.. you know having a slight concern for the people around you that you'd take a year old vaccine that has been proven by the vaccinated masses, that its safe and effective.

Its only a political issue because these people are trying to make it into one. But then again, we had TFG on TV last night in AZ pretty much ragging on how awful the biden administration has been toward controlling the virus. Yet seems to forget that HE was the one who was in office when it started

But like everything he says, people lap it up like a sh*tcake and believe every word he says.

So yeah here we are.. and where we're gonna be for years to come. Thank you anti vaxxers for your morancy.

up
Voting closed 33

and which you were panning the other day. :-) Can't fake that so easily.

up
Voting closed 28

It sounds like this place was doing that but most places aren't. Just checking the validity of the QR code is almost meaningless if they don't also card the person.

I bring this up because very few places in other cities that require proof of vaccination are taking that step.

Bars are somewhat unique in that checking IDs is nothing new almost most still don't card people who are obviously above 21.

up
Voting closed 13

And it's also not going to work on kids, who don't have IDs to check against.

But I'll also point out that the paper CDC cards can be borrowed as well, even if not forged, and that's _also_ solved by carding.

up
Voting closed 11

Since the cards have a US federal agency seal on them you can be charged for making fake ones. I doubt they'd go after the buyers for the most part, but if someone's making them and gets busted they may find out how little of a sense of humor the federal courts have about such things.

up
Voting closed 18

What makes you think these anti vaxxers care at all about Federal Law?

They don't and will get a fake card.

up
Voting closed 8

In 3, 2, 1 ...

up
Voting closed 10

See this is why this system fails.

the mandate is it is either a QR code OR a card. Not both. The whole point of the QR code is so you don't have to carry around the card.

So I could walk in with a fake card that looks real, and poof. I'm getting a drink at the bar.

up
Voting closed 5

Validation - it links validated records to your name.

It verifies that your vaccines are recorded in MIIS, which is better than a paper card.

up
Voting closed 11

is a very good tool but not perfect. I work with MIIS every day and appreciate its advantages.
However, its accuracy depends on whether or not given vaccines get entered into the system. Not all do and the onus is on the recipient to pester their health care providers to make the necessary corrections in the record.

up
Voting closed 6

Because my memory is not what it used to be & I needed to get cash to pay someone today, I found myself running into 2 JP pubs in search of a working ATM at 10:30PM last night. Both were busy- one very much- and both required proof of vax. It wasn't denting business.

Emerson, Suffolk, and Tufts health sciences all require proof of vax & have since the fall semester. Venu gets students from all over the city, granted, but the idea that some student hasn't had a chance to get vaccinated is bollix, and if they were a student at a neighboring school, it's even more ludicrous.

I have no doubt their business was suffering as much as he says, but that may be a clientele problem or a messaging problem, not a problem with the mandate itself.

One last note-- all three of the schools above require apps that show vax & testing status. Unless a student guest was somehow not carrying a phone, it's unlikely they're missing proof of vaccination *if* they are a student and are vaccinated.

up
Voting closed 38

I wouldn’t want to advertise that the type of people who frequent your club are anti-vaxxers - especially in a city like Boston. Though, having known people who are into “clubbing” I’m not surprised that they aren’t the most responsible people.

up
Voting closed 7

According to state law: 454 CMR 27.04 (1) on Reporting pay or "show up" pay:
"If you were scheduled to work for 3 hours or more and get sent home, your employer must pay you for at least 3 hours at at least minimum wage." More info here

This employer is blaming the city for violating the rights of his employees. I have no sympathy for him here, the city/state should pursue repayment for these workers.

up
Voting closed 24

Not disagreeing with you, but 3 hours of minimum wage is definitely a lot less than a bartender expects to make in a Boston club on a a Saturday night

up
Voting closed 7

I agree with you in theory but the fact is servers only get less than $3/ hr. They make their money on tips. (A problem in its own right.)

The club manager could pay them the peanuts owed for wages and they’d still be out the vast majority of their potential earnings.

up
Voting closed 9

…. minimum wage for those three hours not the tipped server wage. Still peanuts, however.

up
Voting closed 7

Even if he pays them the required 3 hours they still lose out if their shifts are 8 hours and part of their pay is from tips.

up
Voting closed 8

If that law is applied, sub-minimum-wage restaurant workers would probably lose less than 5/8 of their night's pay, depending on how much they normally get in tips..

up
Voting closed 7

… losing more than half your expected night’s pay is still bad. Especially if you’ve already paid for transportation or parking or a baby sitter.

up
Voting closed 4

I feel the majority of the people who were turned away knew about the new mandate but ignored it thinking there would be given a pass or waved in, or in that case with the group with one friend with an unvaxed friend who would be just waved in because the majority of the group was vaccinated.

I'm also interested to know the number of those who were allowed access this weekend vs last week.

up
Voting closed 6

If we had all been microchipped when we got the vaccine, all they'd have to do is scan our arms.

/s

up
Voting closed 46

I asked: "How many do you turn away each Saturday for being under 21, fake IDs, forgetting their license?

I only ask because you don't seem to post those numbers multiple times every weekend while decrying all the business you could have had from those people if only the laws weren't in your way."

His response was unconvincing he isn't just looking to complain:

"I’m speaking about valid of age customers that have made plans to attend our venues tonight. Customers that have entered our doors and leaving after. Anyone turned away because of ID’s I don’t look at in the same aspect."

If he can't see the fact that turning someone away because of age and turning someone away because of vaccination status is the same thing...I can't help him.

up
Voting closed 61

So many of my friends’ kids are more than willing to be ‘responsiblel adults’ by getting vaccinated and wearing masks so they can have in-school learning, see their friends and visit
their elderly grandparents without fear of infecting them with a potentially deadly disease. These kids could teach these anti-vaxxer clowns a thing or two about maturity and personal responsibility.

up
Voting closed 10

I have been to NYC twice over the past 6/weeks and every place checks for valid vaccine status and compares to valid ID’s. Takes a minute or so, at worst and every restaurant, theater, and entertainment venue did it seamlessly and easily, with minimal waits to get in.
I suspect that they increased their business because customers felt safer….

up
Voting closed 10

I'm guessing he did not get the kind of supportive responses he was looking for?

up
Voting closed 25

As I said above, I replied to him on twitter too and I started getting all these anti vax bots replying to me. I am sure he was inundated with them, far more than I was cuz I deleted my reply pretty early on cuz I was getting so many of them

You get real tired fast of seeing a notification and it being some rabid anti vaxxer.

up
Voting closed 12

Should be interesting to see how this works its way out in a couple of weeks. These friend groups were being loyal to that one buddy that messed their night up after getting all dolled up, paying for parking, and teetering to the club in heels in single-digit temps only to be turned away at the door. There aren’t a TON of clubs outside Boston and if you’re in the mood for a club, a bar just isn’t the same. May not be too long before they get frustrated enough to leave Jessica off those group texts and go out without her.

up
Voting closed 18

and now these vaccine requirements are crushing us

the requirements aren't doing it.
it's your entitled clientele (who, psssst, have probably gotten away with other things at your club before and that's why they think they can this time too)

up
Voting closed 12

Of course there are going to be a few hiccups on the very first night a new type of law is in effect.

The only story that surprised me was the Children's Hospital employee who was turned away because their vaccine card didn't have their birthday. How were they supposed to know about that requirement? Now that they know, the obvious solution is to write it in themselves.

up
Voting closed 5

Chiefs are up by four touchdowns, so I need better entertainment:

We’ve been open for roughly 25mins so far tonight at @VenuBoston & have already turned away 20 guests for not having proof of vaccine, along with 1 VIP table of 8 ppl.

The "VIP" people turned away were done a favor.

Sitting in office now and phone keeps ringing with ppl asking if they can come in without vax cards.

When the (expletive) has a Boston bar ever been able to confidently break the rules, especially on their first night of enforcement? Did every caller turn 21 yesterday?

#1 reason has been they just flew back into town from being on winter break and haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet. Who knows if that’s the truth.

This is where one of you Boston old heads gets to say "I doubt it" in that snarky voice.

Now guests that have paid and gone inside club are coming back to register asking for refunds because their friends couldn’t get in.

Did the club not post the policy? Maybe don't pay before you ensure that your whole party is compliant?

We might have to combine @VenuBoston & @iconnightclub1 [the sister Icon club next door] tonight to reduced staffing costs & create a better overall vibe. Next hour will determine.

I'm at the Pizza Hut, I'm at the Taco Bell, I'm at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Look that up.

It’s not about our costs as much as now sending staff home and they won’t get paid.

That's up to you. It's your capital, Ace. You're not on the NYSE. There's no board.

Staff has paid for parking and driven into to work already.

They couldn't find meters at 6 PM or 8 PM on a cold Saturday? Really? I've never once paid for garage parking in Boston at night.

More staff coming to office saying groups of 4 and 5 just walking away after 1 person in group can’t come in..

Yeah, they'll do that.

Already working tonight against the Freezing cold weather, Pats game, and now these vaccine requirements are crushing us. Stay tuned for more updates.

The weather existed before you opened a nightclub, that's between you and the NFL, and you have my legitimate sympathies on the city vaccine requirements. (Expletive) Michelle Wu. Leave her kids alone and stop going to her house, but (expletive) Michelle Wu.

up
Voting closed 13

This business is trying to do the right thing. There are plenty of other businesses who are simply letting people in or making exceptions for all sorts of excuses as to why people don't have their vax cards or other info they need to get in.

up
Voting closed 6