“If you could shower at Esca, why would you ever leave?” —Jacob Masters ’15
Ever since the Nest, the go-to Wednesday Bar Night spot of past years, closed, we’ve been curious about the Middletown bar scene. While Corner Pocket emerged as the popular new bar night spot, there are many different bar and happy hour options, all with different vibes and not confined to a Wednesday night. So a few of the 21+’ers on the Wesleying Staff (kg, Samira, Astag_rocky) decided to do some investigative research on the Mtown bar options, especially since there have been a surge of complaints about an apparent dip in the Wesleyan Night Life. Don’t say we’ve never done anything for you.
Each bar or restaurant is rated on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being the best), on experience, price, and “familiarity with Wes students” (meaning how prepared the place would be for the onslaught of college kids). We tried to find Celtic Cavern but were unfortunately too drunk to do so. We were also hoping to go to Gatekeeper’s solely because of this Yelp review: “5 of Americas most wanted criminals are usually seated at the bar and there’s a bevy of lovely $10 hookers outside the front door…what more could you want?,” but it’s closed. And… RIP Shadow Room. We hardly knew ye.
Disclaimer: Most of this adventure happened over a two-day period and we’ve certainly missed some places with cool bar scenes. If you have suggestions, please comment with them so that others can check them out!
It’s Bar Night at Usdan. It’s BAR NIGHT at USDAN. A headline out of my dreams:
A full range of mocktails and sodas will be served with labeled ingredients.
We will provide a range of different activities such as Wii, trivia competition, water pong, darts, karaoke, pool, foosball, and other
games. Following the bar night theme, we will be serving fries, onion rings and chicken fingers.
While participating in this fun filled event, students can enjoy delicious drinks and great entertainment with friends, without
worrying about having a terrible hangover the next day. This will also be a scent and strobe-light free event.
Date: Friday, November 2
Place: The Usdan Center
Has been postponed to next Wednesday, May 4th. More information to come, so please stay tuned!
edit [date change]
Attention, Bar Night frequenters: your venue options are about to expand beyond campus faves The Cardinal’s Nest, The Shadow Room, and Mezzo.
Okay, but it might take a year or two. The Middletown Eye is reporting Planning and Zoning Commission approval of a new nightclub on Main Street, to be operated by the owners of Esca Restaurant and Wine Bar on property previously home to the Firehouse Grill. And it has a hip, decidedly un-Middletown-esque name! Check it out:
Gaetano Bramato, of the Bramato family which owns Esca, wrote in his application, “‘Titanium’ is going to be set up as a Fusion Café and Lounge that will offer light fare and casual Entertainment . . . Our lounge area will be set up with comfortable lounge sofas and chairs with café style tables where guests can sit back and relax . . . ”
Bramato said that there would be a dance floor upstairs, with entertainment offered by live bands, comedians, and occasionally DJs.
Sweeeet. I Google-Imaged “Titanium Nightclub” and this hip-looking action shot popped up. Main Street is already one of the nation’s most romantic locations (lol), but a lil shot of Titanium can’t hurt.
It has really start to hit home that the year is drawing to a close. Crazy, no? Well, for all of you who have been coming out to the Shadow Room on Wednesday nights to see some great Wesleyan musicians do what they do (and for all of you who haven’t been coming out yet but want to), there will be one last chance this year to see a variation on Wesleyan’s own The Last Minutes, known as the Ben Block Solo Trio (and friends) for these magical evenings. Cheap drinks and good music. What a way to spend a Wednesday night.
Date: Wednesday, April 21st
Place: The Shadow Room (170 Main St)
Head over to The Shadow Room tonight to dance along to the grooves of the Ben Block Solo Trio (aka The Last Minutes served with a twist) and partake in the ages-old tradition of bar night. Musical guests abound, bringing to the table everything from rap to harmonica. $3 well drinks before 11… That pretty much sums it up.
Date: February 17th
Place: The Shadow Room, 170 Main St
Cost: however much you decide to spend on booze…
Music, friends, and all the (liquid) things that you think of when you think of bar night. What a splendid combination!
Tonight that combination will be show in its ideal form at The Shadow Room on Main St, lead by a splendidly jammy set by The Last Minutes, who will be joined by several special musician-about-campus guests (you have to come down yourself to find out who).
If you have managed to never see The Last Minutes before and want to check them out before heading down to Main St, you can do so here: http://www.myspace.com/lastminutesthe
Also, did you know it’s groundhog day? Well, Aural Wes reminded me, and I realized that either outcome is a great motivator to come down and partake in the splendor of a musical bar night. I don’t know whether the beast saw it’s shadow or what, but come down to either celebrate the imminent coming of spring or to attempt to forget that we have several solid weeks of winter ahead.
Date: February 3
Place: The Shadow Room, 170 Main St
From the wonderful Barry Finder ’09:
The Shadow Room starts a Wesleyan night on Wednesdays! This week there is buy one get one drinks for ANYTHING you want!! Also, there is a DJ and it’s just a different ambiance than Gatekeeper/Hair of the Dog. So check it out this week and enjoy the drink special!
Word. Another reason to celebrate Bar Night.
Date: every Wednesday night
Place: The Shadow Room, 170 Main St
Price: Buy one, get one free!
The Shadow Room café/lounge on Main Street, which opened last semester, is setting itself up to be a Middletown hot spot this year.
Located where Mega Wraps used to be (right on Main Street between College and William Streets), it has Mega Wraps’ sandwich menu for lunch and opens up the bar in the evening, with 6 craft beers on tap and film projections running along one wall.
As if that isn’t enough of a welcome bar night alternative to the Gatekeeper, there’s other stuff going on the rest of the week:
Hartford’s locally famous “Shag Frenzy” indie dance night (voted the Hartford Advocate‘s best dance night) is moving to the Shadow Room, and will be on the third Saturday of every month starting this Saturday, the 19th, with no cover charge.
Check out their Facebook event.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 19 (and the 3rd Saturday of every month after)
Time: 10:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Place: The Shadow Room, 170 Main Street
The Shadow Room is also hosting “Twisted Tuesdays”, a weekly gay night. From Barry Finder ’09 and Jegadish Guna ’11:
Two Wesleyan bands, The Shade and Precision Libido, are playing at Public this Wednesday.
The Shade consists of Adam Tinkle ’08, Josh Koenig ’09 and Matt Paterson ’09, and Jake Nussbaum ’10 and Will Brant ’10.
Precision Libido consists of Aliza Simons ’09, and Rayna Edwards ’10, Elissa Martel ’10, and Emily Meyer ’10.
First, rock out with the steamy stylings of Precision Libido, Wesleyan’s only all-female post-punk band. P Lib’s original raunchy riot grrrl tunes and slightly pornographic stage antics are bound to make you hot and bothered. Next, cool down to the jazzy garage-rock jams of The Shade, whose stylistically sleek sounds will chill you out to the point where you forget spring break ended days before.
So come party with some Wes bands on the first bar night of spring and kick off the awesomefest that is post-spring-break Wesleyan.
When: Wednesday, March. 25th (bar night) at 10pm sharp
Where: Public Bar & Grill (337 Main St.)