The Weekend’s Growth Spurt.

Thursdays have been the new Fridays since college. Why?

Every Thursday night in Champaign, all the Latinos would gather together for the most cliché night on Green Street. Clybourn located on Sixth and Green would have Corona Night (Yeah, I know) where they served dollar Corona Lights and Corona Extras and eventually progressed to two dollar 24s of Tecate. Great, eh?

Now these were the bars that let in 19-year-olds expecting them not to drink, gave you as many beers as you wanted even if you couldn’t stand up straight at the bar and were basically run and managed by the 19-22- year-old Business majors who were also getting a 3.8 GPA somehow.

Anyway, this place was absolutely disgusting. I’m not even kidding. The floors were wet with only God knows what, shards of glass lay all over the floor as a death trap and people danced like they had never danced before. This place had two and a half floors. I say two and a half because you had the main floor that was halfway up from the entrance then you went half way up from there to booths and all the Latinos (on Thursdays) and then there was a third floor where there was another bar and more booths.

Those Thursday nights were complete mayhem. If you were part of the in-crowd when it came to Latinos (which was mostly all of us since there was such a small population at the University) you were at Corona Night most likely double fisting the savory golden goodness of the cliché Mexican beer. My friends and I would keep to ourselves until the rest of the crew got there. You knew that the Latinos were there because they all wore their  jackets with their Greek insignia. The tall Latinos, with dark skin, facial hair and baggy pants were our friends. One round and you came back to the table with another beer and at least two shots in your belly. Even though we went to school together and had a really small community on campus, if you weren’t hanging out with everyone during the week at La Casa Cultural Latina, in a Greek organization or just studying, Thursday was your night out to see everyone and hang for the night.

Even if you weren’t into the bar scene, there was something about Thursdays that made people want to relax and hang out. If you didn’t go out drinking, you were up until 4 a.m. I suppose that was any night of the week, especially if you had homework, played video games or just watched TV all that while, but there was still a special something about Thursdays.

Now it’s in Chicago. Every Thursday there’s something going down that you have to check out. It might be a new band on the rise, a great “specials” night or just hanging out with everyone because you can. Even professional social events are mostly held on Thursdays. Maybe it’s just cheaper to rent the bar or maybe people get the antsy feeling to want to go out sooner than the weekend. I don’t know what it is, but I know that a lot of other bars in Chicago are now calling Thursdays “College Nights.”  Usually all of the bars in Lincoln Park located on Lincoln Ave pack the house on Thursday and Friday nights. Places like The Apartment, Lion’s Head Pub, Kelly’s Pub and Halligans had specials no one could rightfully deny when I used to go there. And of course, don’t forget Wrigleyville. It’s like Neverland for the college kid.

What I’ve noticed now is that people are starting to make Wednesdays the beginning of the weekend. C’mon people! We’re in a recession! But the catch here is that it’s the Latino in-crowd that likes the Wednesdays because like it was in college, there’s a small group of music lovers, part of what was once the Spanish Rock circle (that’s now just Rock) that still sticks together and loves to get their drink on. Driven by old bands and old fans, those bars that feel like “Cheers” (like the Cobra Lounge), and the new push for support you’ll find that group of Latinos out at the Rockbox on Wednesday nights and the Cobra on Sunday. That’s where their having that Latino flavor come through in all genres.

Whatever the reason, the weekends are getting longer. For those who can afford to make it out, props to you. For those of us who are kinda sorta done, well, you’ll see us out once in a while.

Here’s a video from a Thursday at the Kinetic Playground, featuring the Mojdeh Project, Stank Star and Arma. Mostly English but has got that Latino element… or two… or three…

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