By Lisa Henderson
Rider students experienced an emotional loss recently when their beloved Katmandu bar and nightclub in Trenton closed at the end of January for renovations until spring.
Attending Katmandu has become a Thursday night tradition among Rider students, as well as those of other colleges in the area. After a person’s 21st birthday, it seems hard to resist a night of dancing, socializing, thumping music and $1 domestic beers following a long week of classes.
Plans for a replacement restaurant and nightclub called Rho have already been revealed to the public, but the facility is not set to open until April. Where does that leave students in the nightlife department — in hibernation until the weather breaks?
Despite the loss of Katmandu, there are still other options for having a good time. For those who are 21, McGuinn’s Place in Lawrenceville is also a longtime tradition for Rider students, with its cozy hole-in-the-wall atmosphere and reasonably-priced drinks.
“It’s a friendly environment,” McGuinn’s bartender and Rider senior Diana Passarelli said. “We have personable, down-to-earth bartenders and the drinks are very cheap. It’s also in very close proximity to campus. We have delicious food, live entertainment and a great social atmosphere with beer pong, pool tables and shuffle board.”
McGuinn’s, located on Brunswick Avenue near the Route 1 circle, also offers daily $1 beer specials, which some may find hard to pass up.
For those who are under 21 and looking for a change of scenery, Slocum’s may be the answer. It is located on Pennington Road in Ewing and is home to a bowling alley, bar and restaurant.
“Slocum’s is great,” junior Olivia Santoro said. “It’s cheap and the employees there are really fun. Everyone loves bowling.”
As Slocum’s is located very close to both Rider and The College of New Jersey, the crowd is always a mixture of students from both schools, especially on Tuesday nights.
“I love the environment at Slocum’s,” junior Dave Hightower said. “You may not even know the people in the lanes on your left or right, but you’ll still interact and have fun.”
Junior Brianna Levy went to Slocum’s on Fat Tuesday to help celebrate the Mardi Gras festivities taking place. She warns prospective bowlers to arrive by 8 p.m. as the lanes tend to fill up quickly.
“Since I wasn’t lucky enough to go to New Orleans with my friends, it was nice to go to Slocum’s and get the Mardi Gras feel,” she said. “They gave out T-shirts and beads. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there early enough to receive either or even play a little ten pin.”
While Lawrenceville offers alternatives to Katmandu, most students are very sad to see it go. Some students have taken to Havana in New Hope, Pa., a bar, restaurant and venue for live entertainment.
“Havana is kind of like a smaller Katmandu, which makes it cool,” junior Mike Hinds said.
Havana offers many of the same social aspects that Katmandu once did, for those who find themselves yearning for a blast from the past.
“On Thursdays it’s $1 beer night at Havana, so I migrated there,” junior Lauren Mazurek said.
As summer and graduation continue to creep closer, the need to make every night count seems more important than ever. Students want to ensure that their years are packed with fun, memories are made and friendships are strengthened before it’s too late.
One thing is for sure, however. Whether a person has turned 21 already or not, he or she should not give up hope — soon the sun will show itself once again and indoor options will no longer be the only recreational activities available.