Under 21?

Ben Breier

Underage clubs cater to 18+ crowd

Euro Gyro is one of the bars in Kent that allow people under 21.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Mugs. The Zephyr. The Loft. These are some of the fantastic bars that the Kent area has to offer as long as you’re over 21. Sorry, freshmen — you’re probably not getting into any of these bars, outside of fake identification or becoming best friends with all of the bouncers at all of these local bars.

Freshmen shouldn’t fret. There are several clubs in the area that cater specifically to the 18 and over crowd. The largest of these clubs in the Kent area is Screwy Louie’s, which is located on South Depeyster near downtown Kent.

However, bigger doesn’t always mean better.

Amanda Dennison, a junior fashion design major, used to go to Screwy Louie’s and said, “They definitely call it ‘Screwy’s’ for a reason.”

In addition to the large dance floor, Screwy Louie’s also features several cages for its patrons to dance in. The club possesses more of a urban dance feel to it, as the general Screwy Louie’s crowd on any given Thursday night has more of an edge than the other Kent clubs.

Three other underage clubs are located on a strip on South Water Street. Fat Jimmy’s is a sharp contrast to the void created by Screwy Louie’s. Fat Jimmy’s is much smaller — actually, it’s just a club in a basement.

Fat Jimmy’s also has a cage for people to dance in — but it’s a smaller cage with twice as many rules. Only girls are allowed to dance in the cage, and guys who attempt to enter will be promptly yanked out by one of the many burly men that comprise Fat Jimmy’s security staff.

Fat Jimmy’s is definitely geared towards a younger crowd compared to Screwy Louie’s.

“If you want to see tanorexic freshmen dance around, you can go to Fat Jimmy’s. Just make sure you have about five beers beforehand,” said Chrissy Salvo, a junior interpersonal communications major.

Located next-door to Fat Jimmy’s is Panini’s Bar and Grill. Despite Panini’s being under the same ownership as Fat Jimmy’s, it has a very different feel compared to the other underage clubs in Kent.

In addition to the music and dancing offered by Screwy Louie’s and Fat Jimmy’s, Panini’s also offers some of the best food in the Kent area. The fact that Panini’s is multi-faceted makes it one of Kent’s highlighted underage clubs.

“It’s a bar with a dance floor, so everybody is happy,” said Jessica Giacomino, a senior family and consumer studies major. “It also has some good food for the late-night drunken munchies.”

For those who want something completely different, students can look toward the Electric Café Company.

The ECC redefines clubbing diversity, featuring live music, a bar (for both coffee and alcohol) and a much more casual atmosphere. David Green, a sophomore business management major, says the ECC has something to offer everyone.

Green is a frequent visitor to the ECC and has even performed there on occasion. Musical entertainment includes hip-hop, independent rock and even spoken word.

“It’s a very relaxed environment for both spectators and performers, and it doesn’t make your wallet go dry,” said Green, who hesitates to call the ECC a club. “It’s also a place where you can network with various people, or just absorb the entertainment.”

One thing is for sure: Kent’s underage bars feature something everybody can enjoy. From the bass-blasting dance parties featured at Fat Jimmy’s and Screwy Louie’s to the great food of Panini’s to the highly variable ECC, freshmen can find an enjoyable place to hang out on the weekends.

Contact general assignment reporter Ben Breier at [email protected].