Where Columbia had its first beer seems to have had its last.

Last week, we found out that beloved senior night bar Bernheim & Schwartz is closing its doors. While the real reasons for the closing may be unknown, we have an idea… 

If you’re under 21, you’ve probably been told a million times not to go to Bernheim & Schwartz—word on the street is they’re super strict on fake ID’s. The bouncers don’t hesitate to confiscate your fake, leaving you shit outta luck if you only have one copy (or already had your other one confiscated elsewhere). This, we believe, is why Bernheim closed.

Think about it. If you go to 1020 on a Friday night, it’s completely packed. Yes, half the bar is probably freshman, but those freshmen are buying drinks. Underage students are never going to willingly choose to go to Bernheim because they know they won’t be able to get in. Without the population of several hundred (if not thousand) underage Columbians recklessly pumping money into your bar every weekend, you are undoubtedly going to fall behind. Bernheim lost all of its business to its MoHi competitors because they denied all of the underage revenue.

Yes, carelessly accepting fake IDs is a tricky move on the bar’s behalf. Fines for getting caught (let alone legal charges) are enough to deter plenty of bars from letting in minors. But in Morningside Heights, there simply isn’t the backup demographic of 21+ people that you’d find downtown. If you’re over 21 and living in Morningside Heights, you’re either an old professor or a grad student. Professors don’t go out. (Well, most don’t). Grad students definitely do, but not nearly as often as wild freshman (and grad students typically know better than to waste all their money at bars). Relying on a bunch of stressed out, international Columbia Law students to sustain your bar every weekend is a foolish move.

It’s unfortunate that weekly senior night wasn’t enough to sustain Bernheim. Where will the rising seniors go now? Are they gonna move the party to Arts & Crafts? We guess we’ll just have to wait and see. For now, let adults everywhere mourn the loss of Bernheim & Schwartz—underage kids certainly won’t be upset. Turns out it’s not where Columbia had its first beer, after all. RIP BoSchwo.

NOTE: Bwog does not encourage illegal activity of any kind.

Image via BeerGuideNYC