Last night, we went to Cortney and Jeff’s house, for some food and games and what not. We had talked about ordering pizza, but when we got there, Cort and Jeff had both had pizza for lunch, so we decided instead to go get take out from the Mexican restaurant down the street. They live in Burnsville, and there is a Mexican place called El Loro that is just down the street from their townhouse. We thought that we’d go to El Loro, and order some food to go. Jeff suggested that we sit in the bar there and wait for our food. Having some beers, waiting for Mexican, sounded like a great idea to the four of us, so we got in Cortney’s car and headed over to the restaurant. Cortney eats at El Loro all the time, she loves it. Liza had eaten there as well before, and enjoyed it too. Typical Mexican food, and we’re all big fans of that. So, we went.
When we walked in the place, they tried to seat us right away, but we told them we were going to make a to-go order, and asked if we could just go and sit at the bar while we did so. So far, so good. We even laughed about how there were 4 empty chairs at the bar, as if they were just waiting for us to show up. The bartender came over and she asked us what we wanted, and we each ordered a beer. Small ones for Liza and Cortney, a medium one for Tony, and a big one for Jeff. She asked to see our IDs, and we got them out for her. We laid the IDs on the bar, and then she kind of disappeared for a couple of minutes. We assumed that she had some other tables to get to, and so we sat there and chatted for a few minutes. The Kollmans were in the middle of telling Jeff and Cortney about how Liza’s dad made us listen to the Jose Cuervo song about a million times in the RV on the way to Hendricks for Christmas, and we were all laughing at the photos on our IDs, when we saw the bartender return. She picked up our IDs, and looked at all four of them, and then handed them back to us. She had our four mugs, and was about to go fill them at the tap when we noticed her get in a little scuffle with the Manager man who was also trying to pour some beers. It seemed that he didn’t think she should get to pour the beers she wanted to first, and we heard her say “These guys have been waiting for awhile, I need to get them their beers”. The next thing we knew, she was back asking for our IDs again. Mind you, we had all JUST put our IDs back into our various pockets or purses, but we just shrugged and got them out again. We think that the Manager asked her if she’d checked them, and her response wasn’t good enough, so he made her check them again. This man seemed like the kind of guy who relished in ordering people around, being in charge, and ALWAYS getting our way. She looked again, and then took all four of them over to the scanner. The Manager man must have said something to her, or asked her if she’d scanned them. Sometimes, in Minnesota, they scan IDs. Can’t remember if they do it in SD or not, perhaps they do now, at any rate, they didn’t USED to. The scanning is really just to show if the IDs have been reported stolen, or if the person is wanted for anything or what not. But even in MN it doesn’t usually get done. We haven’t had our IDs scanned, really, at least not any times that come to our mind, since we’ve lived her. The men who were sitting next to us asked us what they were doing, and mentioned that THEIR IDs hadn’t been scanned, and wondered out loud why they were scanning ours. We just shrugged it off until we saw that they were staring at the Kollman IDs and kind of shaking their heads.
We moved to the twin cities area in September, and yes, we realize that we should have had our IDs switched over by now. But our cars are still registered in SD, through Liza’s dad, and our insurance is also still based in SD. So, even though we SHOULD have MN IDs, we just haven’t gotten around to it yet. So sue us. AT any rate, the Manager brought Cortney and Jeff their IDs back, and then turned to Liza and Tony. He told us that he couldn’t accept our IDs because they hadn’t worked in the scanner. Then, he asked us if we had other forms of IDs. We kind of laughed at that – pretty much out of confusion than anything else. We’d been using our South Dakota driver’s licenses in Minnesota for months – at bars, clubs, while shopping and using credit cards, and many other places. Never had we had our IDs turned down. They are both rather new IDs, and have really recent pictures. Liza just got hers after the honeymoon, and neither of them will expire for a couple of years.
We shrugged and started to dig in our pockets for other forms of ID. Liza had an old student ID, but that didn’t help because it had her maiden name on it. Tony didn’t have any other forms of ID. Jeff, meanwhile, had gotten pretty upset about this. He works at a bar, and he knows that as long as a person presents a valid, non expired ID that says they are about 21, the bartender or manager has done their job. When he mentioned this, the Manager replied “don’t tell me how to do my job!” and started to get very testy, telling us that this was his establishment, and he could do whatever he wanted, and he had to protect himself. The female bartender, by this time, looked very embarrassed and said to the Manager that he’d lose business if he made us mad. Which, of course, made him even madder. Liza, who really has a problem keeping her mouth shut in situations like this, said “Excuse me, but I’m supposed to be able to take my ID from one state, and use it in any other state. This is a valid South Dakota ID, its only one state over, I’m sure you get people in here a lot from that state”. Boy, the manager sure didn’t like that comment, and then Jeff started to ask the other people sitting at the bar if THEY had had THEIR IDs scanned. The manager roughly said that he wasn’t discriminating against us, and as Jeff and Cortney loudly agreed with Liza that state issued IDs should be accepted no matter what state you are in, the manager told us that were free to leave if we would like to leave. Cortney stood up from the bar and said, very loudly, “Yes, we’ll leave. I am sure that El Azteca is open and will be more than happy to serve us. ” Then, as we started to walk out, she and Jeff started talking, again loudly, about how it was too bad that El Loro had just lost their business – that they spent a LOT of money in that restaurant and would never be returning. At this point, Jeff called the manager a “prick head” – and we started to walk from the bar to the door, through the tables where people were eating. The poor bartender watched us go, knowing the restaurant would lose our business and she’d lose what probably would have been a nice tip for her services. We noticed that the prick head manager was actually walking on our tails, ushering us out, while Jeff complained loudly to him the entire time. Jeff told us that the manager said ” Don’t make me barter you out of here!”, (God only knows what he actually meant by that statement). The Manager walked us all the way to the door, and Liza turned around and said “Is he throwing us out of here?” In fact ,he walked us all the way OUT the door, and then stood there, to make sure that we weren’t going to try to come back in.
We got in the car and drove over to Savage, where there is another El Loro. We sat down at THIS bar, and they took all four of our IDs and scanned them. Come to find out, when you scan a South Dakota (and probably other states) license, you have to take the gun thing off of the scanner, and use it in a different way in order to make it work. Because at the other El Loro, it worked perfectly and we were all served drinks while we waited for our food. Then we were sure to compliment the staff and the bartenders, and give them nice tips as they brought us our food to go.
Its unfortunate that a man who obviously likes to be in charge, talk down to his employees, and is belligerent to the guests that he hopes will become his customers, can lose business simply because he insisted on trying to use a piece of technology and then he didn’t know how to do it correctly. In the grand scheme of his business, it probably doesn’t matter, because he’s got the kind of joint that people come in to often, and in such a big city there will always be people who have never heard about the prick head manager and decide to eat there. It wasn’t just that he insisted on scanning our IDs, for Heaven’s sake, that’s the law. It was that he was rude, insulting, and threw us out on our asses for just wanting to give him some business and eat in his restaurant.
For Pete’s sake, let’s be honest here – its been a long time since ANY of the four of us could REALLY be mistaken for being 20 years old or less. We wish that it was the case, but really. We’re all close to 30 now, anyway. And although the four of us are, as a rule, very attractive people, (tongue in cheek smile), we’re grown ups. Tony and Liza are married – Jeff works at a bar himself, Cortney teaches special needs kids in Burnsville. Even if the IDS didn’t scan, we all look like our pictures do on the IDs, none of the IDs were damaged in any way, and the IDs say that we are legal, consenting adults.
And it is true – in the United States, you are supposed to be able to use your state-issued ID in all of the rest of the states. Each establishment can choose who they want to sell and who they won’t sell to, but or legal purposes in any other situation, authority figures have to accept IDs issued in other states. Its not like we were in another country or something. Tony and Liza took an alcohol class when we worked at the casino, and we were told that it was the bartender’s responsibility to learn how the IDs from various states looked, and to be able to recognize them and find the birth dates on them.
However, since both Cortney and Jeff, and Liza and Tony, had gotten all the way through their college years (and more) without actually being thrown out of a bar or restaurant, we sort of felt that the adventure of being (pretty much) thrown out of El Loro in Burnsville was kind of worth it.