Kilroy’s is Bloomington’s embarrassing uncle. You know, the one who leers at every 14-year-old girl who walks by in short shorts. Who can be counted on to come up with the excruciatingly tasteless double entendre or to ask your high-school-aged nephews and nieces if they’re, heehee, “having a good time” with their boyfriends or girlfriends.
Kilroy’s, the joint that lines up undergrads at 9am on certain days off in the middle of the semester so the kids can get in early on the all-day binge drinking offers the place is famous for.
[Image: Maddie McGarvey/New York Times]
Yeah, that Kilroy’s.
And last week, the saloon whose T-shirts pop up on returning and new students at the start of every semester like acne on the face of a 17-year-old, doubled down on its rep of serving adult beverages to children. Monday, the place put an easel sign out front, imploring returning students to come on in and get blacked out. And then a few days later, a social media posting, purportedly issued by someone in charge there, reminded patrons that even though there might not be wet T-shirts at the place anymore, underaged girls still were in copious supply.
Kilroy’s Recess, BTW, is the joint’s latest brainchild — a rebranding in which 18-20 y.o.’s will be let in to mix with the rest of the IU student body that’s guzzling Long Island Iced Teas as a precursor to felonious sexual assaults. The young-‘uns, Kilroy’s bosses swear, will not be allowed to drink. Sure, and drivers never roll through stop signs either.
It’s a shithouse run by creeps and borderline felons.
It’s this college town’s visible tumor, its most outward sign of the binge-drinking, rape-culture cancer that has spread throughout the student body.
And, speaking of social media, I notice several elected officials in this town taking to it, decrying the attitude and business model of Kilroy’s in the wake of this past week’s blatant call outs for assault victims.
Which is the damnedest thing I can imagine.
I would prefer my elected officials to be working the phones, pressuring the owners and operators of the bar, leaning on university big shots, putting a bug in the ear of police chief Mike Diekhoff, dropping a dime to the state’s Excise Police — in short, doing real things to slow down this drink-too-much slash pass-out slash get-sexually-violated paradigm that seems as much a part of contemporary college life as ramen noodles.
I want Mayor Hamilton, perhaps accompanied by Chief Diekhoff, to show up unannounced at Kilroy’s at midnight on a Friday night to enjoy a refreshing nightcap. I wonder how assiduously the doorlugs and bartenders might check IDs with such luminaries occasionally glancing their way.
Facebook posts are the last resort of the powerless. If you’ve been elected to office in Bloomington, you’ve got power — use it.