Campus bars convenient, while downtown more ‘chill’

Nightlife at the U of I is, in one word, convenient.

There are bars within a block of the Quad, sometimes located closer to students than their than classes. Combine that convenience with less expenses, and it’s no wonder that students frequent bars on campus much more than in downtown Champaign.

Alex Cerovac, a recent graduate of LAS, said he prefers campus bars because he does not have to drive back home afterward, as opposed to using a vehicle to go to and return from a downtown bar.

The issue of driving is especially key if a student plans on drinking for the night.

Murphy’s, a campus bar located at 604 E. Green Street, is preferred by Alex Wordlund, senior in LAS, over a similar downtown establishment called The Blind Pig (with locations at 120 N. Walnut Street and 120 N. Neil Street) simply because of convenience.

However, there are several other factors besides location for students to weigh when deciding where to go out to.

Many students believe the location of campus bars causes them to attract a younger crowd, which naturally lends a lively atmosphere to campus bars.

Downtown bars, on the other hand, are generally described as quieter, with an older following.

Cerovac said it’s nice to go downtown when looking for a quieter time, but the campus atmosphere allows for a little more noise.

“It’s a bigger party,” he said of the campus bars.

Jennifer Coats, recent graduate of LAS, also prefers the atmosphere of campus bars, saying that the establishments downtown generally have a different atmosphere.

“If I wanted a chill night, I would go downtown,” she said.

The younger, more lively feel of a campus bar allows for more mingling among people, as well as the increased likeliness that the majority of people run into will be students, said Liz Daley, junior in LAS.

“There’s more people that you could know at the bar,” Daley said.

While atmosphere is something many students consider when deciding where to go out for the night, the final decision may sometimes boil down to price.

As college students, having a good time at an affordable price is key.

Coats said establishments on campus allow for a fun night for a cheap price. She said establishments downtown are expensive relative to campus, which creates a big incentive to restrict nightlife activities to Green Street.

Bob Lehman, alumnus and self-proclaimed beer enthusiast, said he likes the beer at The Blind Pig, but that it comes at a steeper price than beer at a campus bar.

Indeed, places like The Blind Pig boast a wider variety of beer than campus bars, though students like Wordlund do not mind the disparity in variety of beverages offered. He said at times, drink prices have an effect on where he will be going for the night.

While downtown bars allow for a more relaxed time at a slightly higher price, campus bars are preferred by people who are looking for a more lively night out.