Explore bar life in Bristol: How do they accommodate for college students?

Aleena Abraham, senior"I think I prefer Gill's more just because the environment is a lot more lively than I feel like Aidan's is. And the age range too at Aidan's, I feel like it tends to be a lot more people of an older age than at Gillary's."

Kayla Ebner, Editor-in-Chief

After a long, stressful week of classes, homework and exams, RWU students over the age of 21 flock to Bristol bars to relieve stress with drinking and dancing. 

 Although RWU may not be located in a big city, the town’s bars find a way to bring in plenty of college students over the weekend. 

 Gillary’s Taphouse, formerly known as Dirty Water, is the place to be on “Thirsty Thursday.” By 11:30 p.m., the two-floor bar and restaurant is packed wall-to-wall with college kids. According to the manager, Lee Terra, the DJ and $8 pitchers of beer are big attractions for college students. 

 Another thing that brings people in are the themed parties.

 “We try to do some kind of a theme every season,” said Terra. “And we do also bring specials during those times for the college kids.”

 This year, when RWU students returned to school, Gillary’s had a Hawaiian night where leii’s were passed out and pitchers of spiked punch were available to purchase. On Saturday, Oct. 27, the restaurant will also have a costume Halloween party. For Christmas, they’ll do an ugly sweater themed night. 

 Gillary’s is not the only bar that brings in college students. Aidan’s Pub, conveniently located mere feet away from Gillary’s, is also a hot-spot for drinking on the weekends. 

 Sheila Mulcahy, manager at Aidan’s, noted that Friday and Saturday nights tend to be most popular for college kids because they clear out the entire upstairs room and turn it into a dance floor. 

 Other big events for Aidan’s are trivia night on Tuesday’s and karaoke night on Thursday’s. A unique part about Aidan’s is their seasonal outdoor tiki bar. Mulcahy noted it is the only tiki bar in Bristol, which attracts a lot of customers. 

 On Sunday’s, ever since they’ve been open, they’ve had a live Irish session from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

 When asked what makes Aidan’s unique from other bars, Mulcahy answered, “the people.”

“I think this place has karma,” said Mulcahy. “We have a staff that makes everyone feel like you’re their friend five minutes after they walk through the door. I honestly don’t think you get that at a lot of other places.” 

Aside from the alcohol, if you want food after 9 p.m., Aidan’s is the place to go. Throughout the town of Bristol, their kitchen is usually the one that’s open the latest, staying open till 10 p.m. every week night, on Friday’s and Saturday’s, they have a late-night menu until 11 p.m. 

Students who have recently turned 21 should definitely check out both of these bars on the weekends for a guaranteed good time.