By Julie Nguyen
Waterloo is home to three different post-secondary institutions and thousands of students flock to the city to pursue their education. The result? A colorful nightlife scene with student-friendly drink prices. Another quirk about catering to the student population is that students will find any excuse to drink, even if it’s a weekday. It is hard to figure out the different nights at different venues that would best suit your interests, so here’s a guide to some options that are sure to be a good time, from everything between grabbing a specialty cocktail in a lounge, to the cheapest shots and cover.
Picture this: the week has just began. You’ve decided to take it easy on the weekend, but were slammed with homework and unexpected deadlines as soon as you returned from your break. Despite the fact that it’s only Monday, you, as a responsible, age of majority student, decide that the best way to cope is with a few drinks and some comfort food.
The spot that is often seen with a lengthy line-up on Mondays is the Pub on King. Pub, as people call it for short, has $5 dishes that include your typical pub fare, and many local and domestic beers on tap. If you want to go for a quiet meal, start your night there before 9:30 p.m. Once it gets late, it turns into much less of a pub and more of a bar. If you want to get lit and watch the game while throwing back some shots, come later in the night.
Nestled in the heart of Uptown Waterloo, Becky’s Apartment has crowds flock to it on Tuesdays where there are local beers on tap, and daily specials with tallboys. There’s a DJ spinning live tunes all night with a good mix between a dance floor and bar area. Like the name suggests, Becky’s Apartment is casual; imagine a high-school house party as a bar.
Hump day in Waterloo is truly the pride and joy of student nightlife here. Wednesdays are reserved for the trashiest, wildest nights of your university career. At Phil’s Grandson’s, Wednesdays are reserved for hip-hop and rap music spun by the region’s infamous DJ White Gold. On any given Wednesday during peak season, the line will span for hours beginning as early as 10 p.m. Cover is a mere $7 and drinks go for as cheap as $2.50. It’s really something that everyone should experience once because there is simply nothing like it. The club is underground and pro-tip for going to Phils is to not look down or not look up.
There’s also Bomber Wednesdays which feature specific themes throughout the semester. The big crowd draws are the first and last Wednesday’s of the term, where people begin lining up as early as 6 p.m. Specialty music nights in the past have included K-Pop Night, Drake night, EDM night, Rihanna/Beyonce/Nicki Minaj, and the list goes on. Drinks are $3.50 and with a huge dance floor and even bigger patio to cool off.
On Thursdays, class it up a bit at Brixton Social. Another region favorite, DJ Whiteout, spins hip-hop and trap beats all night. There’s a dress code and drinks are a more pricey here, but the classy decor and good music makes it a popular place before the weekend begins.
For those looking for a different pace, Morty’s Pub is the place to be. With the purchase of a drink and many different domestic and premium beers on tap, wings are half priced (this happens on Mondays, too). Coined the best wings in town, Morty’s boasts great food, good beer, friendly service, and the biggest game in direct eyesight in the restaurant.
On Fridays, chances are you’ll find plenty of folks decked out in their favorite cowboy hat and flannel shirt. As you might have guessed, we get a little bit country on Fridays. Chainsaw is a karaoke bar with mixed drink specials every day. If you want to venture out a little, you can belt out your favorite country tunes with your friends at Dallas in Kitchener. Dallas features a huge dance floor and spans two levels.
Another favorite is Starlight which plays top-40 jams all night, and draws a bigger crowd beyond the university student population. There are frequently special DJ features and live music here, so keep up with them on social media to see what piques your interest.
School is in session. In the club district of Uptown Waterloo, Night School is a club with cheap drinks, a mix of throwbacks and top 40 hits, and a dance floor the size of a gymnasium. They even offer free cover if you message them on Facebook for VIP.
Every Saturday, Molly Blooms Pub hosts live music and kareoke, along with $4 bar rails and specials on tallboys. They also have a $5 late night menu to satisfy any cravings you might have.
To cap off your week, throw it back with retro music at Phil’s. Since there’s less of a crowd on Sundays, there will be a more laid-back experience and you might even be able to have room to play pool there. Tunes all the way from the 60’s onwards are played all night with cheap drinks and cheap cover.