Anyone who’s been to Downtown Binghamton knows that a combination of alcohol and dancing can lead to some friskiness in the bars. No one knows this better than the people who work there.
Bar owners, bartenders, bouncers and DJs have to deal with situations resulting from students getting rowdy. Most of them say that they allow acts such as hooking up or grinding, but when students go further, they have strategies to shut it down.
Tom and Marty’s owner Larry Shea said that he’s seen a lot of sexual acts, but most frequently students try to have sex in bathrooms. He said that he discourages this by scolding them because people have to use the bathroom, but he also says that it’s not as fun as people expect it to be.
“It’s probably the most overrated sex act in the history of sex acts because bathrooms are disgusting and there are usually nine million people crowded around the door,” Shea said. “I remember one time we saw a girl give a guy a hand job under the bar and I was amazed. We encouraged him to put it back in his pants.”
Justin Yap DJs at both JT’s at 98 State Street and The Rathskeller Pub at 92 State Street. He said that from the DJ booth at JT’s, he can see almost everything.
“The craziest thing I’ve ever seen was a girl sitting in the middle of the bar with both her breasts out and there was a guy just going down on her,” Yap said. “All of his friends and everyone in the bar could see.”
As a bartender at the Belmar Pub at 95 Main Street, Arielle Cravatta, a senior majoring in sociology, said that although the bar is less college-oriented, she does have the occasional guy flirting with her.
“We encourage open sexuality here, but this bar isn’t really sexually driven,” Cravatta said. “It’s the most comfortable you’re going to get at a bar Downtown. As a bartender I’ve seen people receive some sexual advances, but nothing out of line. I’ve had somebody be out of line before, but that person also got kicked out.”
Bartender Erin Savage, a recent BU graduate, works at The Colonial on 56 Court Street. She said she has seen a lot of hooking up and sometimes people even going back as a threesome, but the most intense thing she had ever seen was a love triangle that got violent.
“There were three guys, two of them were currently dating and were making out at the bar,” Savage said. “I didn’t know that the third one had dated both of them too so he got a little jealous. The two that were dating were getting in a fight and one walked out and came back and started making out with the other guy who he had previously been in a relationship with.
“It became this whole ordeal where they started flipping out. Two of them started fighting each other so we had to kick them out and they eventually came back and we called the cops — I think one of them ended up getting [tasered].”
Bryan Whiting, the owner of Uncle Tony’s at 79 State Street, said that in his many years working Downtown he’s seen his fair share of scandalous behavior. He said he’s seen people having sex in the bathrooms and a girl’s hand down a guy’s pants, but his bar’s unofficial policies vary depending on the situation.
“If it’s disgusting we’d probably throw them out, if it’s funny we’ll probably laugh at them,” Whiting said. “One time we did spray people with some water. They were going at it so hot and heavy so we took the soda gun and we sprayed them.”