Palmer Commons

Palmer Commons does not hold a liquor license. However, per University policy, only Palmer Commons personnel or their designates are authorized to dispense alcohol. Palmer Commons is limited to offering alcoholic beverage service to events scheduled by:

  • A University department or entity affiliated with the University to carry out the University’s objectives
  • A current or retired University employee or their immediate family member
  • A University student or alumnus
  • An educational, alumni, cultural or public service organization or group with which the University has an affiliation

Palmer Commons is subject to all rules and regulations of the State of Michigan’s Liquor Control Commission.
Per the State of Michigan Liquor Control Act the following conditions must be followed:

  • It is unlawful to sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age. It is also unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to possess alcoholic beverages. A customer will not be served alcoholic beverages if proper identification is not provided. (MLC 436.33 and Rule 436.1009)
  • It is unlawful to sell or serve alcohol to anyone who appears to be intoxicated, or allow intoxicated patrons to loiter on the premises. (MLC 436.22, MLC 436.29 and Rule 436.1005)

Age will be verified by Palmer Commons personnel or their designates. Palmer Commons reserves the right to recheck identification at any time during the event.

No alcohol, other than that provided by an authorized vendor (who is licensed to sell alcohol in the State of Michigan), may be served or consumed at Palmer Commons’ functions. No alcohol may be given or donated to the event (i.e. from a winery/vineyard, private wine cellar, etc.) per Michigan Liquor Control Commission rules. All alcohol must be removed from Palmer Commons immediately following an event.

Two weeks prior to the event, Palmer Commons must have an exact count of the people attending and the groups attending the function. All Palmer Commons events where alcohol will be served are private, ticketed, or by-invitation functions only. Events will not be open to the public.

No cash bars or sales of alcohol are permitted.

The host of the event must designate a contact who will be responsible for ensuring compliance with Palmer Commons and University policies during the event. The contact must check in with the Manager on duty at Palmer Commons at least one half hour prior to the event start time. The contact must stay on site for the entire event, to deal with any issues that may arise.

At all social events where alcohol is to be present, food of a substantial nature must be provided for the guests by the host. For receptions, food of a substantial nature is equivalent to a minimum of three hors d’oeuvre portions per person attending the event for each hour of bar service. For events with both a reception and a full meal service, alcohol service is limited to 6 hours (4 hours of bar service and up to 2 hours of wine service with dinner).

Bar service may begin no earlier than one hour prior to meal service and must end one hour prior to the end of the event (no later than midnight).

Alcohol Service
Alcohol service will be conducted by facilities staff that are trained in, and observe, the Techniques of Alcohol Management. Service is conducted in accordance with all federal, state and local laws, Liquor Control Commission rules, and policies of the University of Michigan. In an effort to maintain the health and safety of the guests of Palmer Commons, the following parameters
will apply to alcohol service:

  • All drinks must be served with the appropriate amounts of mixers and ice.
  • No straight shots of any liquor or any combination of three or more liquors will be served.
  • All beer, wine and mixed drinks will be provided in individual servings (no pitchers or kegs).
  • Bartenders may only serve one drink per guest at a given time.

Palmer Commons personnel or their designates will deny alcoholic beverage service to anyone at anytime if it appears that violations of any rules, regulations, policies or laws of the State of Michigan, the Liquor Control Commission, the University of Michigan or Palmer Commons are occurring. Palmer Commons personnel or their designates has the sole right to make decisions regarding the denial of the service of alcoholic beverages without client recourse. The Liquor Control Commission rules, state and local laws, and the University of Michigan Student Policy on Alcohol and Drugs govern individual behavior concerning service of alcohol.

Palmer Commons personnel or their designates reserve the right to end any event at anytime if it appears that violations of any rules, regulations, policies or laws of the State of Michigan, the Liquor Control Commission, the University of Michigan or Palmer Commons are occurring. The host is still responsible for any charges that are associated with the event.

Any group that wishes to hold an event, at which alcohol will be served, must submit the following in writing to the General Manager of Palmer Commons (no later than two weeks prior to the event) for approval:

  • A completed Palmer Commons Events with Alcohol Sheet
  • A list of groups attending the event (and an exact count of attendees)
  • An agenda for the event

After reviewing the requests for use of alcohol, the General Manager has the right to refuse any event based on the materials that were submitted in writing.

Special Conditions
At all social events where alcohol is to be served, the facility management will notify the host of any special conditions deemed necessary when final beverage arrangements are made. Any additional expenses will be the responsibility of the hosting organization. This includes any events hosted by student organizations (or with an expected attendance of 2/3 or more students also fall under these conditions). The following special conditions may apply: 

  • A Department of Public Safety security officer must be present during the event (and pay the applicable rate per officer). The officer must be present one-half hour before and one-half hour after the scheduled event times. There must be one officer assigned for every 100 guests attending the event.
  • Non-transferable identification procedures will be required during events where underage attendees will be present.
  • Room sectioning may be required for underage attendees.

Depending on the nature and severity of violations, additional sanctions may be enacted.