Typically, Wednesday nights belong to Toad’s, Thursdays to Late Night and Fridays and Saturdays to general debauchery. This Wednesday, however, a few chums and I found ourselves at Anna Liffey’s, an Irish pub on Whitney Avenue. A giant Jenga set greeted us in the entryway, the brick-like wooden blocks stacked up in a formidable tower. What I had assumed to be room décor of a modern sort was in fact just the beginning of Anna Liffey’s weekly “Game Night” Wednesday. Inside stood a few emo-elephantine men of indeterminable age, all sporting black motorcycle vests and large holes in their ears. They skulked around a life-sized Connect Four set while a few played Wii Mariokart on a projector screen. Though I do not deny that Anna Liffey’s has terrific Sunday brunch, we decided that a Wednesday night with such company (men and board games both) was unfortunate indeed.
As we nursed our Newcastle beers, we pondered our dilemma: though New Haven is rife with bars, there is a distinct lack of an adequate bar scene for Yale students. Colin Murphy ’11, a native of Mexico, mentioned that in both Toronto and Mexico City, college students had an established routine of meeting up at bars. The drinking age is clearly a huge limit for Yalies, but nevertheless, a good portion of students have fake IDs. It seems that most Yalies prefer frats or suite parties.
“It’s easier for groups of friends, and free,” said Michael Gosch ’12. “As much as I love New Haven, I’d rather not party with its denizens.”
Some claim that with already established institutions like Toad’s Place, there isn’t much need for bars, but I disagree. I believe bars to be essential to the general sanity of a well-rounded individual. I do not mean bars of the Hula Hank ilk, but good bars, the kind with interesting characters and hearty bar food. A place where one can go to have a beer in good company. There is a mystery and latency intrinsic to every good bar, the feeling of who-knows-where-the-night-will-end and with it, who-the-hell-cares.
Specifically, my ideal bar belongs to the dive category; there are many other manifestations out there: the sports bar, the trashy bar (“Snow Bunny Competition for the Babes of New Haven! Enter Inside”), both which are well-represented in New Haven. Unfortunately for me, Murphy and Gosch, the kind of bars we lust after are few and far between in the dark streets of New Haven. Until they appear, we can be found at Anna Liffey’s, sadly drinking our beers, maybe playing a game of giant Jenga.