Under 25? This popular Nantucket bar might not serve you

“I don’t need the spring break-type attitude.”

The Gazebo bar on Nantucket is only open to individuals 25 and older due to a new policy to curb underage drinking. Luke Tedeschi

If you’re looking to celebrate your twenty-first birthday, don’t head to this Nantucket bar.

The Gazebo, a popular open-air bar, will no longer serve alcoholic beverages to people under 25-years-old. The Tavern restaurant and Gazebo owner Luke Tedeschi made the change only a week ago in a last-ditch attempt to curb underage drinking. It’s gotten so bad he felt he had to do something.

“What’s worse than I’ve ever seen is how many underage people are attempting to come in,” he told “Their IDs these days are very hard to detect, a lot of the good IDs will go through scanners we have.”


Nantucket is “mobbed” during the summer, Tedeschi said, and noted the bar’s oceanside location as another factor making his establishment so popular. He described how underage individuals often only claim to be 21, so setting the age minimum a bit higher helps him and his staff be certain that their serving legal drinkers. It’s also much less likely that an underage drinker will have an ID showing they are 25-years-old, Tedeschi said, and that it would be easy to pick out that they’re underage if they did.

“If I’m certain, and your ID is certain, and you’re not here with hordes of kids – inevitably in the pack of the hordes of kids there are some underage,” he said. “I’m using this as a deflection so say well, it’s 25. …If you are worthy and legitimately of age and not smuggling in minors…if you’re a couple that’s 21-years-old and you’re not hoarding and acting inappropriately, certainly you’re welcome.”

The Gazebo is a popular open-air, oceanside bar in downtown Nantucket. – Luke Tedeschi

Though this is not a common move for bars to make, it’s not unprecedented. A 2016 Food & Wine article notes a handful of restaurants in New York and Washington, D.C. that implemented an age minimum of 24 or 25; one Long Island bar even set different age minimums for men and women. Massachusetts liquor laws only mention age in the context of the legal drinking age, and public accommodation laws only prohibit discrimination based on “race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, handicap (disability), gender identity, or sexual orientation at places of public accommodation,” including restaurants.


Tedeschi has been operating the Tavern and Gazebo for 29 years, and said while underage drinking has always been an issue the industry faces, it’s gotten particularly bad.

“It is a privilege to come into my establishment, not a right,” he said. “This is a policy, and I have never claimed it is a law, it is my policy to operate my establishment the way I see fit.”

His restaurant, the Tavern, serves alcohol and has its own bar, but that’s not where he’s seeing the problems. The Gazebo, however, is an outdoor bar open only for cocktail service and late into the evenings.

“Underage drinking brings an awful lot of liability to me as the owner, operator, and license holder, and I don’t need to jeopardize my license to serve underage people, i.e. kids,” he said. “I don’t need the spring break-type attitude, it’s driving out the people that can [drink] and are of age and that are much more responsible and respectful to not only my staff and other patrons.”

Tedeschi said the bar turns in up to 20 suspected fake IDs to the Nantucket State Police barracks every day.


Tedeschi considers the increased age minimum absolutely necessary, not only to curb underage drinking but protect from liability. 

“If I’m losing business I’m losing it to illegal drinkers, which is jeopardizing everything I have,” he said. “When drastic measures need to be taken I am not afraid to take them, regardless of the situation and this happens to be the protection of the establishment, the license, and curbing underage drinking.”


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