Does DeKalb have a good bar scene? No.

By Aaron Brooks

When I attended Western Illinois University, I loved going to the bars. The atmosphere that was available to explore was so pleasurable: country, rock, and break your neck dance freak out. The funniest was to do all three in the same night.

The best thing about bar night was, as long as you did not drink and drive, you got home safely. Buses took students to the dorms after the bars closed, and police would not bother you even when carrying your 12-pack of Keystone down the street to house parties on the way home.

The question “What is the best college bar in DeKalb?” cannot be answered because all that exists is a stage, a billiard hall and a restaurant. To make matters worse, Molly’s, 1022 W. Lincoln Highway, is moving, so soon it will be a five-hour wait to get a patio table at Fatty’s, 1312 W. Lincoln Highway.

Lucas Park, post baccalaureate, has been to many college bars around the nation. Although he says there are cities that have nightlife duller than DeKalb’s, his finds DeKalb’s nightlife lackluster.

“[At the bars] there was either no one there, age quality was too old, or the music was so loud I could not hear myself think.”

I do not understand why a smaller university would have better night life; it seems counter to basic economics. Of course I am overlooking one fact, that with the exception of Seth Peritz, NIU students are boring.

Seth Peritz, a senior political science major, is like Park in that he would rather leave town to boogie down.

“I drive out to the suburbs and Chicago when I want to go out,” he said. “Places with bars in every corner, four different rooms with six different DJs, where you do not hear the same song twice, is where I want to be.”

Furthermore, DeKalb is seriously lacking in any sort of house party scene, and that hurts the perception of bars; I know pre-gaming at a couple of house parties before hitting the bars elevated my mood.

Peritz explains the main reason why house parties suck. “The problem is the fun house parties are held at frats,” he said. “Cops ignore them, but bust house parties; all cops are looking for are underage students outside with a beer.”

It seems like DeKalb has never wanted to leave prohibition. With its draconian liquor laws no wonder private investment has not flowed into the city. The only way to solve this problem is to get active in your local politics. We need students in the SA who will lessen the penalties for alcohol consumption, and we need students in the city council that will send a message to the police to stand down and make our college town party-friendly.

It is when we choose to do nothing that we get a restaurant named the best bar in town.