B.O.B. manager responds to further drink spiking allegations plaguing bar


GVL / Sydney Lim

Emma Armijo, Staff Writer

Following allegations of drinks being spiked at The B.O.B. and other bars in downtown Grand Rapids, additional claims have been levied against the business in relation to these events.

Grand Valley State University students and community members alike have been moving to Facebook to voice their concerns and share their experiences with others as the bar has recently reopened after a series of COVID-related closings.

In a post by Emily Killvers on Facebook, Killvers said that a friend of hers got a drink from a bartender at the B.O.B., never put it down and was sharing it with her best friend when they realized it had been spiked. According to the post, the friend was hospitalized that night due to the effects.

Other posts similar to Killvers’ have been uploaded to Facebook and other GVSU community pages since the reopening of The B.O.B.

Killvers’ post received 71 shares and 29 comments, one of which was from the general manager of The B.O.B., Michael Gee.

In his comment, Gee asked to connect and discuss the issue further, assuring Killvers that The B.O.B. takes these allegations very seriously.

Gee said that there is an intricate security camera system in place throughout the entire building that allows security to locate guests, take footage of incidents and track patrons’ locations throughout the building. If an allegation or instance of suspicious activity is brought to the attention of the staff, action will be taken to locate and ban patrons for instances related to safety.

All servers, bartenders, managers and security personnel at The B.O.B. are required to receive Alcohol ServSafe or Tips for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) certification and to follow strict policies about entering and exiting the break room.

Gee said conversations have been had regarding the drink spiking allegations, and that he has complete confidence that the staff has not been involved.

The problem, Gee said, is that patrons are going straight to social media rather than bringing the issue to the staff, meaning that The B.O.B. is unaware of the instance until there is a post on social media.

“The safety of both our staff and guests are our top priority, always,” Gee said. “While we make every valiant effort we can to keep everyone safe, there are instances where things are missed, where we rely on our guests to bring them to our attention.”

Bartenders and servers have been instructed to only serve drinks to one guest at a time so that there is the least possible likelihood of drinks being tampered with before the guests receive them.

Signs have been placed throughout the establishment advising guests to report any and all suspicious behavior, including a direct phone number to the on-duty security manager as well as Gee’s desk.

Gee said The B.O.B. is excited to be back open for business and looks forward to continuing to provide the highest quality of food, service and entertainment that they possibly can.

“We now have lids behind every bar for drinks and will be offered to guests to help avoid other guests from putting something in another’s drink,” Gee said. “We have drink test kits readily available; all guests have to do is ask if they suspect their drink has been spiked.”

Both social media and proximity have brought these allegations to the attention of GVSU students.

Student Makenzie Griffin said her reaction to seeing the posts about drinks being spiked on social media is frustration and concern for others.

“It’s horrible, just getting a drink with friends or even staying sober and getting a pop spiked are horrible,” Griffin said. “Even though I don’t really go out to bars, it makes me worry for other people.”