ECC to get liquor license

Erin Roof

MaryJayne Stone of Kent bartends at the ECC with the owner Joel Jacobson on a busy weekend night. With hopes of bringing in more customers, the ECC will begin to serve liquor after getting their liquor license this week. MEGHAN GAURILOFF | DAILY KENT STAT

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Electronic Caf‚ Co. will begin to serve liquor this week.

Joel Jacobson, owner of the concert club, said he hopes getting a liquor license will bring a bigger crowd to the ECC, without alienating patrons who are underage. The club already has a license to sell beer.

“I will still continue to do things for all ages, it will just be segmented,” Jacobson said. The ECC at 252 North Water St. will host both all-ages and 21-and -over nights, he said.

Jacobson said he also expects the ECC to attract a different crowd.

“I don’t think it will be overrun by the mainstream,” he said. “We probably aren’t going to wind up with the sports crowd. I would like to absorb the old Loft crowd and the less pretentious of the art crowd. It would be cool if everyone felt they were welcome and there was an eclectic kind of feel.”

Chris Schulz, junior computer science major, said he is excited to finally be able to order hard drinks at the ECC.

“I like to hang out here, and I hate going to other places just because I want to do a shot,” he said. “I think it is going to make it lot more enjoyable because I won’t have to leave.”

Schulz is a promoter and a disk jockey for Mental Floss, the monthly electronic music event held at the ECC.

Despite adding another liquor establishment to downtown Kent, Jacobson said he does not think he will take away business from area bars.

“Overall, I think the Zephyr is well-established,” he said. “I don’t think the Loft attracts that same crowd anymore anyway. I think it will add to Kent more than it will take away from any one business.”

As the ECC continues to grow, it will enrich the community by giving people a sense of community and identity, Jacobson said.

“The ECC is able to change Kent by adding an alternative,” he said. “I think there are kids who are going to wind up coming down here in the next few years (whose) experience of Kent will be a little richer because of this place.”

Ben Cohen, patron and volunteer at the ECC, said serving liquor will put the club on par with the rest of the bars in town.

Cohen said the ECC has live music unique to the club.

“You can hear DIY punk and underground hip-hop,” he said.

The ECC hosts concerts by local, regional and national acts and displays artwork by local artists.

“It feels like it is a culturally focused place,” he said. “Yes, it’s a bar, but it’s not just another bar.”

Contact public affairs reporter Erin Roof at [email protected]