Mixing chores with fun has never been easier
Kent State graduate Brian McFarland counts change for the washing machines at Laundry 101. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER
Credit: DKS Editors
No one really likes doing laundry. There’s the sorting, the washing, the drying and the inevitable mismatched socks. What better way to ease the static-cling dryer sheet blues than with a tall, cold one from the bar located inside Laundry 101 on Route 59 in Kent.
Laundry 101 has a bright, friendly atmosphere, and considering the liquor license, it surprisingly doesn’t appear to be overcrowded.
“It all depends on holidays coming up and events over the weekends,” said Tommy Krecic, senior integrated health sciences major and “laundro-bar” employee. “It stays steady though. We always have people coming in.”
The bar has four beers on draft at all times. It always carries Blue Moon, Labatt Blue and Bud Light. The fourth tap changes about monthly with a “special” beer. This month, it’s Rogue Chocolate Ale. The bar is also stocked with close to two dozen different bottled beer, along with Sutter Home Chardonnay and White Zinfandel wines.
TAP INTO THAT METER MONEY AND WASH THE GROWING PILE OF NEGLECTED LAUNDRY
• Single machine: $1.50 per load
• Double machine: $2.25 per load
• Triple machine: $3 per load
• Quadruple machine: $4 per load
• All dryers fit double loads and cost 25 cents for 6 minutes.
• Opens at 8 a.m., last load spinning at 11:45 p.m.
“People from all around come to get coffee or a beer and just hang out while they do their laundry,” Krecic said. “You know, just relax a minute and get it all done.”
There is no “Thursday night downtown” drinking ambiance, even with the bar, and Krecic said many adults with children come to do laundry.
“I’ll have kids sit at the bar and play games,” he said. “I actually play with kids a lot while I’m working. I’ve kind of made it part of my job.”
Krecic said customers are primarily college students, but the atmosphere of the laundromat is family-friendly.
Junior marketing major Lindsay Young said she comes in at least once a week.
“I’m always here,” she said, as she sipped a Jose Cuervo margarita the bar offers on tap. “You can drink and play ‘Photo Hunt’ – doesn’t get much better than this.”
Young said it would be a great time to get her homework done if she could bring her laptop with her.
“They should get free Wi-Fi,” she said. “I always come in with my laptop hoping to get a connection, but it never works.”
While there are weekly regulars at Kent’s only “laundro-bar,” some prefer to put off their laundry until absolutely necessary.
With 12 loads total and using six machines at a time, one may wonder how often Kent State alumnus Brian McFarland does his laundry.
“As you can see, not often enough,” he said. “It’s hard to find time – that and I’m lazy. It might be a mixture of both. I have to do it sooner or later anyway, and here it’s just wash and dry, and you’re out, and at least in my case, done for another month.”
McFarland keeps his “laundry quarters” in an old prescription pill bottle to keep his roommates away from his vital stash. He said he discovered Laundry 101 while he was living in the residence halls at Kent State.
“There were like 30 people sharing one washer and dryer,” he said. “Yeah, right. I had to find another way, and I found this place.”
Along with a bar and more than 80 washing and drying machines, the laundromat also has a pool table, a game room, air conditioning, 10 televisions, snacks and a study area next to the bar. For those who are underage or just don’t drink, the bar also offers Gatorade, Red Bull, Arizona iced teas and Pepsi fountain products.
The best deal at Laundry 101 is the Express Wash. For $3 a load, these four double-load machines help get the clothes clean quicker than one could finish a beer at the bar.
“It puts detergent and fabric softener in for you,” Krecic said. “The spin cycle is so fast that the clothes dry quicker in the dryer.”
The machine holds nearly 30 pounds of clothes and spins at speeds 10 times that of regular washers. The load is finished in 20 minutes, washing nearly three loads of laundry at once.
Krecic said the owners are working on a laundry drop-off service. In theory, one can drop off clothes which are then weighed and washed. They can return later to pick them up clean and dry. He said they want to begin the service within the next few months.
“It’s a fun, friendly place,” Krecic said. “You got to do your laundry somewhere. Might as well have a drink while you do it.”
Contact features reporter Courtney Cook at [email protected]