The bar had turned into some sort of raving circus. Katy PerryâÄôs âÄúTeenage DreamâÄù emanated from every speaker, sending patrons into a drunken frenzy. Dishes clashed and clanged. I could barely hear myself think.
ItâÄôs 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 âÄúcampus bar.âÄù And whether or not you like the place, youâÄôve probably been or will go there at least once during your college career.
âÄúThere are a lot of bros here, but the drinks are so cheap,âÄù Alaina Klocke said, her voice just barely drowned out by the barâÄôs wall of chatter.
Klocke, a Psychology third year and her friend Erica Tasto said they come here all the time. And while theyâÄôre aware of the bro-heavy stigma the bar carries, they feel like itâÄôs their best option.
âÄúItâÄôs better than going to Blarney, and Burrito Loco is always a bust,âÄù 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 itâÄôs really not all that surprising either. Above all else, the Library is affordable and just a stoneâÄôs throw away from where most University students reside. This is the typical explanation I got from bar patrons âÄî many of whom did not wish to be named âÄî as I slogged through the masses.
âÄúMy roommate thinks itâÄôs a good place to pick up girls. But thatâÄôs only because most of them are stupid,âÄù said the guy next to me at the bar.
But why here? Why not any of the other bars in the area?
âÄúItâÄôs bigger. There are more people here âÄ¦ and the chicks are hotter too,âÄù 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.
âÄúI feel like a [expletive] retard. IâÄôm wearing this bright pink shirt and I feel like everyoneâÄôs staring at me,âÄù shouted one girl passing through.
Jennifer Maes doesnâÄôt 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, isnâÄôt here by her own accord. She was supposed to meet a friend but canâÄôt seem to find her. ItâÄôs just one of the many reasons she never comes here, she said.
âÄúThere are too many bros here. And all the music sucks,âÄù Maes said. âÄúI get why people come here, but I canâÄôt stand it.âÄù