METAIRIE, La. – Bars, casinos and adult movies all have age restrictions and, now, so does a suburban New Orleans mall.
Clearview Mall in Metairie has begun barring customers who are 16 and younger unless they are accompanied by an adult who is at least 21. The restrictions are in force on Friday's and Saturdays from 4 p.m. until closing.
Problems with unruly teenagers prompted the policy. It actually has been in place since last summer, according to Joy Patin, Clearview's marketing director. But mall officials decided to drastically step up enforcement last Friday after a series of events that culminated in a particularly violent fight in the food court on Feb. 9.
"We like to welcome everyone to come to the mall, but to crack down on the security issue we had to do something," General Manager Tara Lubrano said.
To enforce the rule, the mall has hired extra security to guard the shopping center's entrances and card the masses.
So far, the policy — similar to others in place in Minnesota, St. Louis and elsewhere — has elicited some grumbles from teenagers but mostly praise from mall tenants and adults, Lubrano said.
Neither Sandra Sander, 62, nor her granddaughter, Tiffany Lloyd, 15, had heard of the policy. The two had popped into the mall Monday afternoon to run an errand at one of the stores.
"I don't like it," Lloyd said. "It's weird to walk in with your parents."
Lloyd's grandmother didn't take such a dim view.
"I would like it, but the teenage world would go berserk," she said.