The bar had turned into some sort of raving circus. Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” emanated from every speaker, sending patrons into a drunken frenzy. Dishes clashed and clanged. I could barely hear myself think.
It’s Friday night, and the Library bar is in full swing.
Located just off Fourth Street on the edge of Dinkytown, the Library Bar and Grill is the epicenter of weekend debauchery and epitomizes the very concept of a “campus bar.” And whether or not you like the place, you’ve probably been or will go there at least once during your college career.
“There are a lot of bros here, but the drinks are so cheap,” Alaina Klocke said, her voice just barely drowned out by the bar’s wall of chatter.
Klocke, a Psychology third year and her friend Erica Tasto said they come here all the time. And while they’re aware of the bro-heavy stigma the bar carries, they feel like it’s their best option.
“It’s better than going to Blarney, and Burrito Loco is always a bust,” Tasto, a journalism third year, said.
Tonight is just like any other night; a never-ending flood of clean-cut boozehounds all yearning for some temporary relief from their drab day-to-day college grind. And it’s really not all that surprising either. Above all else, the Library is affordable and just a stone’s throw away from where most University students reside. This is the typical explanation I got from bar patrons — many of whom did not wish to be named — as I slogged through the masses.
“My roommate thinks it’s a good place to pick up girls. But that’s only because most of them are stupid,” said the guy next to me at the bar.
But why here? Why not any of the other bars in the area?
“It’s bigger. There are more people here … and the chicks are hotter too,” he said as he walked away with his order of drinks.
It was almost 1 a.m. when another wave of patrons entered, making an already dense crowd even more difficult to maneuver. I trudged through the horde to make my way upstairs. But despite the crowd, not everyone here is happy.
“I feel like a [expletive] retard. I’m wearing this bright pink shirt and I feel like everyone’s staring at me,” shouted one girl passing through.
Jennifer Maes doesn’t want to be here either. As I stumbled onto the upper level, her face was flush full of embarrassment and frustration. Maes, a Political Science third year, isn’t here by her own accord. She was supposed to meet a friend but can’t seem to find her. It’s just one of the many reasons she never comes here, she said.
“There are too many bros here. And all the music sucks,” Maes said. “I get why people come here, but I can’t stand it.”