Starting the weekend early: Thursday night clubbin’ in the Lou
The pulse of the baseline reverberates throughout the crowded room. Students with permanent-marker Xs on their hands hit the dance floor, and others hit the bar. Jam-packed school buses pull up out front with a new load of partiers.
This is the Wash. U. club scene-and it gets going long before the weekend officially begins.
For many students, Thursday night clubbing is a great chance to express their inner Usher, meet people and even get a good workout. For some, it’s a weekly ritual. Freshman Alex Kiles goes almost every Thursday.
“I like to get my groove on,” said Kiles. “And it’s good to get off campus.”
Many students agree that the clubs give them a chance to escape the Wash. U. bubble for a night.
Each week, private groups or individuals sponsor trips to one of several local clubs. To advertise, groups post fliers around campus and also spread the word via Facebook. Sponsors often rent school buses to pick students up on campus and take them to the clubs, since many students would not be willing to fork over cab money and a cover charge.
One of the largest St. Louis club sponsors is 314 Events, a St. Louis marketing and event planning company run by several Wash. U. students. The company hosts events at clubs and bars alike. Other groups, including fraternities and even the University baseball team, also sponsor club nights throughout the year.
Sponsored clubs include Dante’s Ultralounge, Lucky’s, SpyGlass, Ten14 and Lush. Each club has its own signature style and ambiance and students tend to venture to the spot that’s got the vibe they like best.
“Lucky’s has a pole,” said freshman Ysabel Goldberg, adding that this feature makes Lucky’s her favorite hotspot. “I just want to dance.Everyone is so consumed by the atmosphere and leaves their worries and their minds back on campus.”
Dante’s, which is Kiles’ favorite club, is appealing for its size and décor.
“It has a cool atmosphere, and it’s big but not too big,” said Kiles.
Ten14, unlike some of the other venues, has a “style code” that changes from night to night. Their Web site lists 11 items that may never be worn at the club, including hoodies, long chains and “unstylish tennis shoes.”
Once you’ve got the right outfit picked out, you might hit yet another obstacle: Some clubs never admit anyone under 21. However, most spots, including Ten14, admit those over 18 but will only serve alcohol to those of legal age.
Clubs tend to play a mixture of hip-hop, pop and techno music.
“I like dancing to anything I can sing to,” said freshman David Atterman, who goes out regularly and has been to all of the main Thursday night venues.
Although these clubs can make for a great night out, they can also burn holes in your Coach wristlet. With cover charges ranging from $5 to $10-not to mention pricey drinks if you’re over 21 (wink wink)-the clubs can be a very expensive way to find some fun. But many students are willing to pay the price for good times.
Sophomore Allison Rosen said, “The clubs are worth the money if there are a lot of people there.”
Others agree that the larger the turnout, the more exciting the venue.
Upperclassmen often say that the 314 Events club scene is primarily for the youngins.
“It’s a freshman thing, although it is still socially acceptable [to go] if you’re older,” said sophomore Crystal Okonta.
Regardless of age, students go for similar reasons. The club serves as a breeding ground for hot hookups that transcend grade level.
While this is a draw for some, the literal and figurative hotness of the club scene can be a turnoff for others.
“The club scene doesn’t really offer a lot for someone in a long-term relationship,” said sophomore Alex Rosenberg. “Plus, it’s really cold [during winter]. Normally, if I want to hook up with a girl, I’m willing to go out in the cold.”
But Rosenberg said the club-going process can be just a little too much of a hassle during winter months.
The club scene certainly isn’t for everyone. Okonta said she shies away for academic reasons.
“When you have nine o’clock orgo [the next morning], you tend to stay in,” she said.
In addition to the St. Louis weather and Friday morning classes, many students complain that the bus system deters them from going out. On the busiest nights, competition for a seat can get intense; students have been known to push each other out of the way while scrambling to get on.
“The buses are kind of a hassle to catch,” said Kiles. “There should be more buses or more frequent buses.”
Goldberg agreed. “Sometimes the buses just leave people behind.”
Atterman isn’t complaining, though. “I think it’s nice that [the sponsors] even provide [the buses].I think the rush of getting on the bus is more exciting than the club-it’s the most fun part of my night.”
Overall, the clubs are what you make of them, should you choose to accept the mission. Whether you end up walking it out or getting low, squeezing onto a bus or grabbing a taxi home, you will hopefully have fond memories of the Wash. U. club scene.
Downtown, on Washington Ave.
Go-go pole (occasionally, go-go dancers)
Raised VIP area, dance floor
Wider range of clientele
Not a lot of seating
Must cross dance floor to get to bar, bathrooms
Known as one of the less classy options
Four levels (including a rooftop patio)
Three bars, two private rooms, one waterfall
Plush velvet walls
Can be very crowded
Dress code enforced
Sushi restaurant by day
Known to be a classier option
Elegant lounge area
Cozy booths overlooking dance floor
Upstairs VIP areas
Smaller, but more intimate venue
Dance floor gets packed
Bathroom doors kept open all night
Large dance floor
Large second room
Two large bars
Free salsa lessons Fridays
Occasional higher cover charges
Closer than most clubs
Tiny dance floor
Morgan Street Brewery
No cover charge
Location on Laclede’s Landing
In-house brews for low prices
Other late-night venues nearby
No B-School buses
Metrolink shuts down at midnight, so taxis/rides necessary
No coat check
Popularity: 1% [?]