Policy limits on-campus alcohol sales

UND may be a dry campus, but some private businesses on its land are still allowed to serve alcohol.

These businesses include the Ralph Engelstad Arena and the recently opened Albatross Sports Grill and Golf Club. They are able to get away with this because alcohol is not their primary focus; they are not bars or nightclubs.

“I do have to have my alcohol sales at or below a certain percentage of my total sales to remain in compliance with UND,” Albatross owner Andrew Krauseneck said. “According to my lease agreement, they would have the authority to terminate it if I was not in compliance.”

Krauseneck is leasing Albatross’ building and land from Capital Ice LLP, who had signed the original lease agreement with UND. He and a representative from Capital Ice both had to sign the agreement, which mentioned the alcohol sales policy before Albatross opened its doors in 2012.

This policy is the same at all higher education institutions throughout the state and was created by the North Dakota University System.

According to their website, it states that “sale and service of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises may be permitted in restaurants, meeting rooms and commercial hotels located on leased land. Restaurants must be full service establishments where service of meals is the primary focus. Night clubs and bars where full meal service is not the primary focus are not permitted.”

Krauseneck claims that this policy is in place so that UND can maintain the focus around a restaurant and not a bar on its property.

“Their goal is to maintain the integrity of their land and to ensure that the area surrounding campus doesn’t turn into an all-out bar or club scene,” Krauseneck said.

Another aspect of the policy regulates advertising and exterior signage of these private businesses, regarding their alcohol sales. This was a big reason why Krauseneck didn’t stick with his restaurant’s original name, “Albatross Eatery, Alehouse and Golf.” Exterior signage mentioning alcohol, such as the word “alehouse” is strictly prohibited.

Although Albatross does have beer specials and mentions its availability of 16 different beers on tap on its website, it is not allowed to advertise them anywhere else.

“I can’t place an ad in The Dakota Student for student beer specials and I can’t promote pitchers of beer specials on the radio or in the Herald,” Krauseneck said.

One exception to this rule is the alcohol advertising on the Ralph Engelstad Arena’s digital board on Columbia road. The arena’s agreement was one of the first used and the rules for private businesses have changed since then, according to Krauseneck.

Since the arena opened in 2001, it has always sold beer and wine to the general public, including students who are of legal drinking age. However, these students are not allowed to bring their drinks into the student seating section.

Ralph Engelstad Arena Concessions manager Jerry Robinson stated in a 2011 article on athleticbusiness.com that he has yet to see any alcohol-related incidents at events in the arena.

The article explains that controlled alcohol sales in college sports arenas throughout the U.S have actually created a safer environment for fans because there isn’t as much pre-game binge-drinking.

“I think the university respects the fact that we’re not out to make every dollar,” Robinson said. “Our ultimate goal is that everybody has a great experience here and too much alcohol will ruin that in a heartbeat.”

Despite the rules regarding alcohol sales, hockey games at the Ralph Engelstad Arena are still very popular with students, and Albatross has also had a lot of success so far.

“I realize the downtown bar scene has grown to be a main attraction for many college students,” Krauseneck said. “However, we now offer something as a unique and possibly very convenient alternative for many students.”

Millspaugh can be reached at [email protected]