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Old 05-12-2012, 03:41 PM
 
147 posts, read 326,813 times
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I've noticed that bars that don't serve food bill themselves as "private clubs". How exactly does this work? Can I sign up at the door, or should I do it ahead of time? How much does membership typically cost?

Do I have to give my real name? Do they check ID?
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:45 PM
 
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Most places make you "join", sometimes it's free, sometimes they charge. You fill out a card in some cases, and most times you get a "card" that says you're a member. It's just a "loophole" to get a liquor license and not sell food. It also makes it MUCH easier to tell certain people, "sorry, can't let you in, you're not a member" as well.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Durham
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Yeah, I have one for Foundation in Raleigh; I think it cost a dollar and is good for life.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:16 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
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Legends in Raleigh is like that, you have to be a member to get in or have someone who is a member to let you in.
I always lived an hour or more from Legends so I felt no need for membership but usually had no problem finding someone let me in who was waiting inline unless I went there with a member.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:47 PM
 
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Yeah, usually just a dollar to become a "Member". I've gotten in lots of places without paying too. It isn't a big deal. Like others have said, just a way to get around the fact they sell alcohol but not food.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:56 PM
 
147 posts, read 326,813 times
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Thanks. So if I go to a place like Foundation, I can get in on the spot by filling out some card? Will they check my ID against what I put on the card? I hate having to give my personal info to people who don't really need it.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Downtown Durham, NC
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In nearly all cases, private clubs don't actually care about membership. You can simply walk up, sign in as a member, and get carded by the bouncer. Of course, you're affirming that you're a member when you sign in, so if you're not a member then you're trespassing perhaps breaking a law.

The reason there are so many "private clubs" in NC is due to liquor laws. Essentially, you either need to be a restaurant or a private club to serve liquor (think whiskey, gin, and the like). If you are not a restaurant and you wish to be "open to the public", then you can only serve beer and wine. It's an antiquated system, and in modern times it means that most private clubs require only a $1 or $3 lifetime membership.

In the past five years I've gone to numerous private clubs more than 100 times in total, and I've only been asked for my membership card once.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Downtown Durham, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupiter View Post
Thanks. So if I go to a place like Foundation, I can get in on the spot by filling out some card? Will they check my ID against what I put on the card? I hate having to give my personal info to people who don't really need it.
It depends on the bar. By law, the membership roster must list your actual name. In practice, who knows. I see nothing wrong with giving them your real name, the bouncer or bartender is going to check your ID every time you enter anyways.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:03 PM
 
4,598 posts, read 8,634,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupiter View Post
Thanks. So if I go to a place like Foundation, I can get in on the spot by filling out some card? Will they check my ID against what I put on the card? I hate having to give my personal info to people who don't really need it.
I often go to Foundation and have never been asked to become a member or prove membership.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:52 PM
 
3,277 posts, read 4,947,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyKayak View Post
Legends in Raleigh is like that, you have to be a member to get in or have someone who is a member to let you in.
I always lived an hour or more from Legends so I felt no need for membership but usually had no problem finding someone let me in who was waiting inline unless I went there with a member.
I've never been, but Legends is totally different, due to their clientele.


Most of the "private clubs", as in normal bars/clubs (not higher class country club, Cardinal Club etc), use membership to weed out people they don't want there. Dress and act the part, and you're fine.
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