Coat checks are logical, feasible solution to winter nightlife

There is a reason why coats are not included in the phrase, “No shirt, no shoes, no service”: Coats are not required to go to a restaurant or bar, even in winter months.

Of the 11 bars on campus in Champaign, not including downtown, seven do not have coat checks where there is an attendant who keeps your coat for your stay at the bar. (Four bars could not be reached for comment.)

Some bars like Legends have hooks around its bar, which is suitable for its sit-down atmosphere. However, this doesn’t work for all the bars on campus. Whereas you stay near your coat all night at your table in Legends, you might not do the same in a bar like The Clybourne, which has a dance floor.

The worry of where to put your coat at a bar would be solved if all bars had coat checks.

In winter months, many students rarely bring coats when they head out to the bars. That means students shiver while walking to the bar, waiting for a bus or standing in line in front of a bar.

According to the National Weather Service, it takes 30 minutes to get frostbite if it is zero degrees Fahrenheit outside with 15 mile per hour winds. This scenario is not uncommon in Illinois during winter. Plus, it probably takes you more than 30 minutes to get home from the bars considering the amount of times you stop to use the restroom and get a late night snack.

For those who don’t want to brave the cold while on the way to the bar, there are a couple of options. One way for ladies to cope is to bring an oversized purse and stash a light jacket or warm sweater in the bag. Men can even stash their sweaters in their friends’ purses.

Another way is to find a dark corner in the back of a bar where not many people are and stash a pile of coats behind a sign, a large television or a speaker. Hopefully, the coats will still be there by the end of the night.

If you don’t want to take a risk with your coat, you could befriend a bartender and beg the bartender to stash your coat behind the counter. Of course, you will probably be reminded that employees are not legally obligated to ensure the safety of your personal belongings.

These three options are mediocre at best. No girl wants to wear an oversized bag full of their friends’ coats while trying to maneuver through a crowded bar. There is a lot of risk in leaving your coat hidden in a bar. And bartenders are not there to be your friend, unless it involves tips.

That leaves only one practical option: All campus bars should have coat checks. The idea seems silly when imagining it being the formality in a college town, but having a coat check is feasible and logical.

Coat checks would be more efficient than a wall of hooks open to everyone because it would ensure that you got your coat back at the end of the night, not someone else’s coat that looks like yours.

Coat checks won’t put a dent in a bar’s budget. Actually, a bar benefits from having a coat check by charging a small fee per coat. A cheap price like one dollar could result in a couple hundred additional bucks for the night.

Before anyone complains about paying a dollar to check your coat, remember that many people are probably spending a ridiculous amount of money on alcohol at the bars anyway. How many times have you asked the bartender how much each individual shot is so you could make the most economically sensible choice?

Coat checks are also logical. Wintertime in the Midwest is very cold. It is a common sight on Green Street to see students with their arms wrapped around themselves to keep warm while speed walking to a bar. These same students are in shorts, button up shirts and tank tops. This is not proper winter attire.

To be properly dressed, people should wear a coat, hat, scarf, mittens and boots when going outside. Just being able to bring a coat to a bar will make a significant change in how you feel during the walk home. Hint: You’ll feel warm.

Having a coat check would prevent frostbite problems. Plus, it isn’t that tough to keep a card in your pocket that tells the person working a coat check which coat is yours. Most bar-goers are able to keep track of their wallet all night. Just slip it in there.

Coat checks will make life easier — and warmer — when going out in the winter.

Rebecca is a junior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]