51 Main Street, a review
We complain about our social lives. What other way is there to pass the weekend other than drinking our weekday sorrows away in our dorm rooms? After all, what is there to do in the middle of nowhere? …and so goes our line of questioning.
51 Main is not THE answer. But it is an answer to our social life question. I visited twice in the past two weeks and decided, above all else, 51 Main is refreshing. It’s something new. And that’s enough to get me excited. Swanky, smooth, dark, and rich – the place really does add a whole new meaning to going out to town.
And it’s the community that really makes this place light up. After a performance at the Town Hall Theater, a whole bunch of folks filtered into 51 Main to hear some jazz and chat over drinks. I said hi to a former professor, an associate dean, various groups of friends who were scattered around. I stole a stawberry off the plate of a friend’s chocolate mousse. It felt rather grown-up, something you don’t often feel when “going out” on a Friday night.
It is that idea of going to a bar, chatting over drinks, mingling with friends and meeting new people that is so enticing and new. And the “grown-up” feeling and community interaction is the best and most concrete answer I’ve seen so far to the perplexing question of alcohol on campus. I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol that night but still had the opportunity to be part of the scene in a legit way. It’s what The Grille’s juice bar/alcohol bar originally was built for but never worked out.
For all the jabs I take at the administration, they did this one right. The Bunker and 51 Main have and will develop into real options for students on a weekend night. And getting the right venues has been a long time coming.
Now let’s hope 51 Main survives winter. Students barely want to walk to dining halls much less downtown. Then again, McCullough to 51 Main is the same distance as BiHall to McCullough.