Town Square

Post a New Topic

Nightlife and the responsibility of businesses

Original post made by Resident, Vintage Hills Elementary School, on Nov 17, 2009

I am all for a more vibrant night-life in Pleasanton. I do not mind that establishments would like to extend their hours, food and alcohol. However, with that comes responsibility. On Friday night of last week - we arrived at Gay 90's at 9:15 only to be told we could order a pizza only. Fine no problem. However, at the same time we witnessed a gentleman who asked for a taxi to be called. The employees told him they didn't call taxis and didn't even know of one to call. My husband had an I-phone and we volunteered to call the gentleman a taxi. Anything to prevent drinking/driving! In the end, it took 3 calls to the taxi and a 45 minute wait but the gentleman got his taxi. However, I was very disappointed in Gay 90's for not having a list of taxis and a willingness to call one for a patron who felt they should not drive. Shame on you. If you serve alcohol - you should also be willing to call a taxi for a patron. Perhaps the downtown association could help establish a rapport with a local taxi and communicate that number to downtown establishments.

Comments (18)

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Ah yes, lets blame the establishment, but not the individual who was too inebriated to call his or her own taxi cab. I think its great that some establishments offer that service, but we should not require nor point our noses up at those that do not. Its not their responsibility an individuals decision to drink too much to the point where they can't get home. Shame on you for missing the forest from the trees.

Like this comment
Posted by Love Thy Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2009 at 8:46 am

I respectfully submit that you both have missed the true point here. The man asked for help and was rebuked by a person in a position to assist. Resident-you are a true good samaritan. You did the right thing, not because it was your responsibility by position but as a fellow human. Parent Pleasanton-A person in any establishment should have helped this man as well and not because they served the alcohol. What if he made it down the street and then asked the owner of a dress shop for help-should that person not help because they do not serve alcohol. Bad logic. Of course he should get help, because he is in need and they have an ability to help via their phone. Golden Rule-no other laws needed.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Dublin
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:05 am

If you drink too much you NEED to be responsible and not drive. Thankfully, the gentleman realized this because all too often drunk people think that they are fine to drive. So he didn't call for a taxi & asked the restaurant to do it for him. They should have! Restaurants like the bar tab up so be responsible and call a taxi for your drunk patrons.

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Resident and Love Thy Neighbor.

I take issue with your choice of words, your statements imply it is the responsibility of the establishment to arrange transportation for patrons if they ask. While I agree it is the good samaritan thing to do, and probably also the wise business decision, it is not the responsibility of the establishment to arrange someones transportation. The ownership is on the individual. Come one people, personal responsibility.

Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Nov 19, 2009 at 2:33 am

I would ask the question - If someone came into my establishment and imbibed to the extent he/she felt they would be a danger to others if they operated a motor vehicle and he/she politely asked me to please call a taxi,(keeping in mind I was all to interesting in the person spending money in my establishment)- what should I do - spend a couple minutes calling a taxi, or, tell him/her to take a hike and have him/her get into their vehicle...

Where has common courtesy gone...

Like this comment
Posted by mary
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:41 am

Pleasanton Parent, you are simply way off base. Thank goodness for the sound thoughts presented by Love Thy Neighbor and Resident. One might consider that these establishments are quick to offer up another drink, and another, and another. They're happy to make the money. In the end, let courtesy and good judgement win out. It also makes for good business.

There are plenty of taxis in this town that would like the rides, so I believe that businesses serving alcohol could easily accomodate this simply request.

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:48 am

Pleasanton Parent,

Are you saying that the individual who took it upon himself to make sure he got a cab home because he knew he was in no state to drive safely was NOT taking personal responsibility? I can't see any more personally responsible thing for that gentleman to have done. There are not public telephones placed all around these days as there were in the past, and you can not fault somebody as you seem to be simply because he did not have a cell phone of his own to use.

And speaking of legal responsibility, in the state of California (as well as many other states), it absolutely is the responsibility of the establishment or individual serving alcohol to ensure resonably that their guests get home safely. If Gay 90's employees were aware that the man mentioned was too drunk to drive home and he had ended up trying to drive himself home and got into an accident, he or anybody else who might have been affected by that accident, could have successfully sued Gay 90's for knowingly allowing him to be on the road. Likewise, if you have a party where you are serving alcohol, the same applies.

I am very surprised that Gay 90's doesn't have a list of taxis on hand to phone. Kudos to you, Resident, for absolutely doing the right thing and helping out where you were in a position to do so.

Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

If the policy of Gay 90's is, in fact, not to phone taxis for customers, than I find it troublesome. We have a rather large party planned for December at Gay 90's, and many of the attendees will be drinking beer - alot of beer. Most have cell phones, or designated drivers, but it does bother me that ANY establishment that serves alcohol would refuse to phone a taxi for a customer.

I'm hoping that the employee who refused to phone a taxi was incorrect in the policy of Gay 90's. However, if correct, it is a bad business decision on the part of their ownership or management.

Kudos to those who helped the individual get a ride....

Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Happy Valley
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:26 am

Pleasanton Parent- You are wrong. If the person drank too much and then drove home and killed or injured someone on the way everyone including the establishment can be sued. If they serve alcohol then they have the obligation to cut someone off when they had too much and provide a taxi home. I think it is better than loosing your business or the death of someone else. I bet if they drove home and hurt a member of your family you would think different. Imagine if they killed one of your kids and you found out that they were asking for a taxi but the establishment would not call one. Are you starting to see the forest through all the trees now?

Like this comment
Posted by Kafka-esque
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:55 am

Don't worry kiddies. The lawyers will make sure that it was EVERYBODY'S fault if someone leaves a bar, restaurant, deli, private party, etc. & does so much as run over a squirrel if they blow anything close to a .08.

I'm sure that Steve & the rest of Gay 90's & every other downtown establishment that serves alcohol for that fact have now heard these comments & will act accordingly.

You've upset the mommies people, now time to mea culpa yourselves.

Like this comment
Posted by duhgays
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 19, 2009 at 10:00 am


Why is it the downtown association's responsibility to tell bars/restaurants/whomever to call taxis? Or provide them phone numbers? They are not babysitters. And in case you don't know any one of the 2, sometimes 3 people that work in the association office, they have a lot of other things to do. As a friend of the 2.5 people in the office, it's irritating to always see them get blamed just because people always want to blame the next person in line.

That being said, YES, Gay 90s SHOULD HAVE called him a cab. DUH. That was very poor judgement on their part. Thank YOU for calling the cab.

Like this comment
Posted by Tonyagc
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

I completely concur with Concerned Citizen in that the person who was inebriated did take personal responsibility by requesting a cab _and_ that it is the establishment's legal responsibility to make sure a cab was called. Personally, I think it is all of our jobs to help make sure that drunk drivers are not out on the roads endangering our family, friends and community. Kudos to the folks who stepped up!

Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Oak Hill
on Nov 19, 2009 at 12:15 pm

When did providing a customer service to one of your patrons become a bad thing? You are correct it is not their responsibility, it is a good business practice. And, what is up with "if I can call a cab why can't you?" or "if I don't have too much to drive then why can't you?" Hasn't this attitude contributed to the hole we find ourselves in?

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Val Vista
on Nov 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Actually it is the restaurants responsibility if that person had any alcohol at their establishment. You wouldn't believe the requirements the CA Alcoholic Beverage Control puts on businesses that serve alcohol. The person who called a cab did the right thing, but I also hope they called the restaurant and spoke to the owner. It is extremely irresponsible for a restaurant to knowingly allow someone to drive while intoxicated. The CA ABC office could be called and they can be reported. It is great that this kind of stuff makes its way out to the public. This allows the downtown association and others to act on issues that at times can be relatively hidden.

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:07 pm

My friends, again, I think the point is missed.

Drinking to the point where you can't drive home, or to the point where you can't arrange for your own transportation home, is irresponsible....yet this thread elects to shame the establishment but not the individual. It is the responsibility of the individual who chose to drink to that point to bare the consequences of their decision - not the establishment, nor society as a whole.

Now, for reasons previously mentioned, yes, as a community concerned with the greater good, I agree it is morally justified to help. I applaud the couple that elected to do so (and I would have done the same).

Like this comment
Posted by Kelli
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2009 at 11:14 am

Pleasanton Parent, I'll remind you that not everyone has a cell phone. I don't own one and have had to ask for help from strangers occasionally in the past. Are you really that ignorant?

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

So is it your position that it is the responsibility of everyone with a cell phone to help you when you ask, because you have choosen not to have one of your own? And are you of the opinion if someone does not assist you that they deserve to be publically shamed on an internet forum - again, because of a choice you made?

Like this comment
Posted by mary
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 20, 2009 at 11:21 pm

What the heck, I just called the restaurant and talked with the manager. He said that occasionally enough he is asked to call a cab and always offers to do so. They've even called more than one cab when the first one says they'll be longer than an hour. As far as he knows, everyone on his staff would know to do that (but it doesn't appear to be a policy) of his establishment and can't guarantee it is done in his absence.

Just a follow-up and a heads up, too.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Nominations due Monday for TV30’s Tri-Valley ‘Coach of the Year’ award
By Jeb Bing | 1 comment | 248 views


Readers' Choice Ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "Pleasanton Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 21st. Stay tuned for the results in the June 23rd issue of the Pleasanton Weekly.