While downtown Brantford’s primary night club may play on the word ‘envy,’ it does not quite live up to the pun in its name. N.V. offers the basics that one might find at the standard night club, with a bar, dance floor, etc., but nothing particularly out of the ordinary. However, while it might not be the most lavish place in the world, it gives the students an option.
The upstairs lounge and bar, a more recent addition to the club, offers a nice separation for those who prefer a bar-type setting over the usual club scene.
The music is generally the typical club material you might hear at other places, with the exception of the occasional live performance.
While it may serve the entire surrounding downtown community, much of N.V’s clubgoers are Laurier Brantford students, especially for the Thirsty Thursdays series. In addition to the Thirsty Thursdays series, in 2013, N.V will also feature Swagger Saturdays, Karaoke Night on Tuesdays, and Country Fridays. Country Fridays will feature both live bands and a DJ.
Because it is one of few clubs in downtown Brantford, N.V. tends to be the primary clubbing source of entertainment for Laurier Brantford students. However, N.V. tends to draw a younger group of students, although not always. Look for N.V. to continue to remain downtown’s student club in the next little while.
Piston Broke Gastro Pub
Laurier Brantford may not officially have a student university bar, but Piston Broke fills that role fairly nicely. The bar has a hybrid-like function, serving as a both a restaurant and a bar, divided into four main sections. Whether it’s a pool cue, sandwich wrap, or a pint glass, Piston
Broke serves as a great meet-up spot to socialize.
Patrons can choose from a variety of food items, ranging from wrap to nachos, of which the pulled pork is a favourite. A variety of delicious appetizers are also available to complement the alcohol. As for the drinks, Piston carries the traditional selection of domestic beer on tap, such as the Moosehead, Canadian, Rickard’s, and Coors Light. Piston’s also offers beers of the imported selection, including the Irish brews, Guinness and Kilkenny.
Piston Broke can also be characterized by its choice of tunes. Usually, the bar goes with a classic rock touch, but changes it up sometimes for the diversity of customers. Fridays are the specialty nights for live performances, which are generally crowd draws. Sports events are also popular reasons to come to Piston, especially on UFC nights, which often draw some of the biggest crowds.
While it may not be only bar in downtown, it certainly fulfills a need for a more studentfriendly bar. Piston Broke is a recommendation for those looking for an entertaining pub night, or for group-size gatherings. The food and atmosphere are sure to not disappoint patrons.
Hawk and Bell
As the newer pub in the Brantford campus vicinity, Hawk and Bell has not generated as much interest as its cross-plaza competitor the Piston Broke. It may not have all the hype that Piston has, it certainly offers a nice alternative.
Hawk and Bell also offers the brews you might see at other pubs, featuring a distinct domestic selection that has the usual Canadian and Rickard’s, as well as northern Ontario’s King Brewery, and Toronto’s Steam Whistle Brewery brands. The pub also offers Thornbury Cider, a tasteful alternative to Strongbow, served at Piston, and Somersby.
The food selection is fairly generic, offering the classic bar food, along with tasty finger foods. The menu essentially is broken down into typical American cuisine and a smaller American-Italian listing.
Like the other bars and pubs in the area, Hawk and Bell also hosts live performances on weekends.
The bar setup provides several seating options, ranging from bar chair tables, to wooden booths, or regular table seating. Patrons can also watch sports games near the front entrance of the bar, where the two flat-screen TVs are.
While Hawk and Bell might not be Brantford’s biggest bar hotspot, it certainly makes a case for a favourable student type. It has not drawn the type of crowds that a student bar would expect, not taking into consideration its relatively short-lived existence. The cheaper prices raise interest among the student body, as an alternative choice to the higher-priced Piston’s. Look for Hawk and Bell to be on the rise as the Brantford campus continues to grow.