Corner Bars: A Weeknight Tradition

By Natalie Crane

   Most bars on weeknights serve as a place where you can relax with your friends and have a few beers. It's typically the weekend nights that are reserved for droves of people rushing to bars to wake up on Saturday and Sunday mornings with upset stomachs and aggravating headaches, right? Well, not "the Corner" bars here at UVA. Cavaliers can "go big" (a.k.a. get smashed) weeknights at bars on "the Corner," when drink specials attract huge, drunken crowds to the bars. These nights include your typical UVA party atmosphere of hordes of intoxicated, talkative, well-dressed (and even flirtatious) people drowning themselves in cheap beer. Tuesday nights offer two dollar pitchers at the Biltmore, and Wednesday nights include two dollar pitchers at St. Maartens, and at the new bar and grill Ham's. Ham's has been open for less than a month, but the Wednesday night crowd has progressively grown to the point that there is now a wait to get into this large establishment. It has become the new spot to be at to relieve mid-week pressures. Ham's increasing popularity is mostly due to the cheap drinks, but for some (mostly males) the ten cent buffalo wings are another major attraction.

The social event at Ham's, like most UVA parties, doesn't really start until almost midnight, because most Wahoos do not go out until eleven. By the middle of the night the bar is usually crowded with pushy people flagging down the bartender for more pitchers and shooters. The beer filmed tables are a clutter of revolting buffalo wing bones, greasy napkins, and half-emptied cups. People cram themselves into these booths not caring about the mess they've made (especially by the end of the evening when the beer has gone to everyone's head), while others try to maneuver around the room hoping to bump into someone they know. Everyone clutches plastic cups, or those that are "on a mission [to get as inebriated as possible]" have their own pitchers that they consume through straws. The evening of revelry does not end until two in the morning when the bar turns the lights on, signalling closing time, and the dazed crowd is forced to say their long, drunken good-byes and find their way home.