Reflections on The Forbidden Llama

As a high school junior touring colleges, I fantasized about a weekday night at a college bar. Especially as someone growing up in a big city, and seeking colleges in smaller North East towns, something seemed so sweet and intimate about sharing a night with your friends, your class crush, and the person you were friends with for the first week of freshman year and now half-wave occasionally to. I fell in love with Mezzo’s unpretentious sporty energy, and its two floors! And a deck! The playlist sucked, the vibe was chaotic, but I treasured my connection to my Wesleyan Mezzo-attending forebears. Unfortunately, things are changing, maybe forever…

I miss Mezzo. Everyone I know misses Mezzo. Although Mezzo is temporarily closed, their bar night numbers have been dwindling since the fall. And the culprit of this insidious shift is the Forbidden Llama, Main Street’s newest bar/club/restaurant. 

Despite mourning Mezzo, we continue to flock (lol) to their competition to buy drinks that are much too expensive and bop around in an incredibly crowded but not in a good way space. In a small space where people are drinking and dancing and recovering from their 8:50 and mandatory discussion board post it gets pretty swampy. Like more than a typical party. Wet. Bad. Also, what does the phrase “Forbidden Llama” even refer to? 

There is also something to be said about exclusivity. Similar to Wesleyan’s graduated living system, where you enhance your college experience by moving from dorm to house as you age, graduated drinking is an exciting part of growing up.. Although as a first year and sophomore I lamented my lack of Thursday night plans and fantasized about my first bar night, anticipation is often more exciting than its outcome. From what I have heard, and as someone who would never endorse underage antics, the Llama is more forgiving with fake IDs than Mezzo had been. There’s something special about spending time with the people in your graduating class as you prepare to leave college behind, so maybe those of us who are on the younger side should have to accept their FOMO. For those who want a more tranquil space to scream to early 2000s hits, Mezzo at its peak had a lot to offer in terms of age authenticity. That being said, every bar varies night to night in terms of their receptivity to teens who can’t remember their “address” or date of birth. 

Also, this anonymous writer is a junior, and has experienced zero weeks of pre-COVID college. As with many other traditions, how can the vast majority, and soon all of, the students at Wesleyan fully know that they’re missing when it comes to bar night? So much has disappeared, and as annoying as it is to hear upperclass-people reminisce on what once was, I’m sure it was special and a lot of fun and I’m annoyed because I’m jealous.

In conclusion, I am quite keen to see if Mezzo can revive itself upon reopening. Sending my love.  


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