By The Nightlife Blogger, PubClub.com
After spending a weekend at the University of Alabama for a football game, one thing is readily apparerent about the nightlife: Tuscaloosa needs more bars.
A lot more bars.
Each one of them is packed to capacity, resulting in incredibly long lines. As a result, students are accustomed to spending an hour waiting in a line and sometimes may not get in until right before clossing time. The only way to avoid the a line is to go out ridiculously early; for example you had bettter be in one a little past 6 in the evening. And what do you do in a bar? Drink, of course. The longer you’re in there the more you drink and you don’t dare to leave to check out another place because you won’t get in any place.
Along University Blvd., from the strip to downtown (a distance of little more than half a mile) there are only about 15 bars. That’s for 40,000 students. One doesn’t have to be a math major to know that is simply not adequate. Several students are opting for house and fraternity parties instead of the bars as a result. But that hardly helps the crowded Tuscaloosa nightlife situation. Tuscaloosa needs at least twice as many bars as it has now.
And it’s not just bars for students that are lacking. Alumni and locals – and I’m talking the well-heeled ones who help bankroll those fancy athletic facilities – complain that there are no “adult bars.” So if they want to tip back a few (and they do, believe me), they go to the college bars because there is no alternative for them. Places where they can hang out with people thier own ages, perhaps with relaxing live music and, oh, by the way, not spend Vegas-type money for a cocktail or a nice glass of wine.
As it is now, there is not one place where you can walk into on a Friday or Saturday night – or heck, even a Thursday night – and plop down to have a drink without waiting in a huge line or having to get there at time more assciated with the Early Bird hour of senior citizens.
Meanwhile the Tuscaloosa Police Department and the city are bearing down on the bars like an Alabama lineman on a Tennessee quarterback. Because the people are lined up for a block (or more) on the sidewalks, the police have made it the responsiblity of the bars to control the outside crowd in order to keep the sidwalks clear. This is in addition to all the securty the bars have inside the place to ensure a safe and fun envrionment. It should not be the responsiblity of the bars to control what goes on outside of it; that’ the police’s territory.
Cities and police departments around the country are often taking measures to control the nightlife. In some cases it’s justified, but their approach is as antiquated as leather football helmets. They are putting limits and restrictions on current bars and making it difficult to open new ones when in fact having more bars is by far the better solution.
More bars means gew long lines, which reduces the possiblity of heated confrontations while waiting to get into a place. It’s also good for the local economy, provides a boost to the enjoyment of a gameday weekend, and having a few adult bars will keep those almuni and boosters happy when they go our in T-town.
PubClub.com is one of the original websites on the Internet. It features articles on nightlife, food & drink, events, activities, travel and sports. It has been featured in USA Today, the LA Times and American Way magazine, among other publications. Kevin Wilkerson is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in daily newspapers and the Associated Press. He is an authoritative figure on the topics covered by the website.