Teenagers like to hang out. When there’s no money, ride or energy to go out and do something more spectacular, teenagers are often very satisfied by just gathering with a bunch of other teenagers to hang out.
After growing up in Squamish, I definitely agree with Christine Endicott’s editorial (“Keep teens out of trouble,” Dec. 4) and speak from experience when I say there weren’t a lot of places to hang out at night or on the many rainy days when you didn’t want your parents eavesdropping on every other word. We wanted to go out somewhere entertaining but were too young to grab a table at the bar. For many kids, a place their parents would deem “safe” (not in the middle of the woods at midnight) and let them be with their friends was essential.
“Timmy’s” became one of the most popular go-tos and, while the employees were often very accepting of our hours and hours of loitering, the stimulation there was minimal; the atmosphere was lacking. We heard about the funky cafés and arcades that bigger cities had for under-age people and envied them. Not having the option to go different somewhere like that was something a lot of us complained about it fairly regularly.
Now I see my teenage sister struggling with the exact same dilemma. She and her friends want to go out and chill at night; they want to get out of the house, stay indoors, and socialize with each other and whoever else happens to show up – very similar to the purpose of a bar.
Imagine a place with all the pros of a bar (minus the alcohol, of course) mixed with a café —pool table, maybe some arcade games, couches, booths, tables, coffee/snack service, T.V.s/projectors playing hockey games or movies. How about open-mic nights, live bands once in a while, or at the very least awesome music playing in the background by someone open to requests? If there was a café-sized space in an easily accessible area to teenagers, I believe it would be well used. And it could put parents at ease, knowing that their kids were hanging out in a safe place with good atmosphere.
Of course, we need someone to run it, fund it and staff it. So, I’m just wondering, are there any business-people or entrepreneurs out there looking for an idea for the kids?