For whatever reason, there only seems to be one student bar for Laurier Brantford. For years, NV night club has controlled the monopoly when it comes to the student night life. They have been able to do so thanks to their signature “Thirsty Thursday” nights. How can one establishment control the clubbing market with basically one night?
“Our city compared to other cities, we don’t really go out at all,” said fourth-year student and NV promoter, Steven Haines. “It’s hard to promote a business when your clientele aren’t asking for it.” There are some who do love it, the question is whether or not there are enough students to create another night like NV’s Thursdays.
“I love to dance with my roommates. I have way too much fun on Thursdays,” says third-year student and NV enthusiast, Kelly Brady. When asked why she does not go anywhere else, Brady simply answered, “There isn’t anywhere else.”
But there actually are a good amount of local bars and clubs downtown such as Two Doors Down, Brando’s, The Alex and Therapy Lounge. So why do all of the students flock together? What stops students from going out to another bar or club? “It being a small campus, it definitely hurts the cause,” said Haines. “People get discouraged when there are fifty students and three hundred of a local crowd. They want to associate themselves with other students. It’s like it’s us and them and they’re afraid to bridge the gap.”
This might seem reasonable for a city that was described as having the worst downtown in Canada by the city’s mayor not too many years ago. Indeed, other establishments like Allure and Insomnia were not able to gather a student crowd the way that NV has done and this forced them to close down. It seems clear that students generally do not want to mingle with the local crowd.
There are some however that have ventured off to local bars outside from NV. “We went to Two Doors Down and it was great,” said fourth-year student Vanessa Bielecki. “My roommate showed me since she’s from Brantford. At first, I was hesitant because of the way it looked from the outside, but when I went in I saw that it had a nice atmosphere where people just want to listen to music, dance and have a good time. There was live music; it was really fun.”
Perhaps if more students tried to venture outside from NV they might find that the revamped downtown is more to their liking. Haines explained that his manager told him, “People used to go out almost every night of the week. Now it’s Thursday, maybe Saturday.” So, people used to go out more often when the mayor of the city trash-talked the downtown…. Now that students are here, they go out less?
Students may feel they should avoid Brantford residents and associate with students instead because of the impression they have gotten from hearing about the local crowd. It seems though that the downtown is being cleaned up. With the number of students continuing to grow, we might start to see a different social night life. This year, there was only one place that students gathered consistently. Some might look for explanations while others might be at a loss, like Haines. “It’s just the way it is. There’s not really an explanation for it.”