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The Scarlet & Black

Lyle’s Pub draws record ravers, quizees, drinkers

By Leah Yacknin-Dawson

Since its opening in 2008, Lyle’s Pub has emerged as one of Grinnell College students’ favorite hang out spots on campus. Located in the basement of the JRC, students must follow a long corridor to enter into the festive, dimly lit bar and pub. The walls are covered in chalk-graffiti and decorated with student artwork. Recently, Lyle’s Pub has played host to a number of all-inclusive campus events, including this past weekend’s Pub Rave, Thursday’s Go Go Release Party and the weekly Wednesday-night Pub Quiz.

The Pub has been bustling since break ended, starting the semester with the wildly popular, bar-dance-inspired “Pub Rave.”  The Pub also continues to offer such favorites as “Pub Quiz” and quarter beer night (Thursday)- Cait De Mott Grady

One example of the Pub’s growing popularity can be seen in the attendance record of this semester’s first Pub Quiz.

“We have a consistent group of 8-9 teams that show up every week, last week, for our first week back, we had about 18 teams,” said Pub Quiz host and emcee Aaron Swaney ‘11. “It was kind of a nuthouse, but it was great to see that many people showing up.”

Although Pub Quiz is largely seen as tradition, in recent semesters, the Pub’s increasing popularity has led to greater participation in Pub Quiz.

“Pub Quiz has been getting more popular since I first started coming,” said Swaney. “[I thought] that it wasn’t around my first year, but it’s definitely grown and is getting bigger. The nice thing about Pub Quiz is we provide an activity in the Pub for kids to do something other than buy alcohol, because usually when people go there it’s usually just to buy some beers. It’s a fun thing to do on a Wednesday night, either as a homework break or something to do before you go out.”

In addition to Pub Quiz, this semester, the Pub has started holding different types of events, including this past weekend’s Rave. Indeed, a large factor in the Pub’s attractiveness for events has been the appeal it holds to the people that put them on.

“I liked it a lot because people like to go to the Pub after a long week of school,” said Pub Rave DJ Will Jackson ’13. “I think the focus of parties at Grinnell needs to expand beyond Harris parties and start to revolve around more genre themed parties where people can let loose to new types of dance music.”

The intimate size of the pub gave the event a distinct feel from larger Harris parties where the organizers are forced to cater to much broader music tastes. “[I] was able to play songs that could never be dropped at Harris,” said Jackson.

There would appear to be definite appeals for more refined tastes in parties to appeal to all Grinnellians.
Some attendees, however, disagreed that the vibe of the Pub contributed to a distinct atmosphere from other Grinnell parties. “It wasn’t really what I expected and was too much like a Harris party,” said Ryan Moorehead ’13. “It didn’t really feel like rave, which disappointed me.”

While the Pub is still shaping its identity in the framework of Grinnell it has so far attracted some ingenious events and activities for Grinnellians to take part in. As a unique venue on campus, The Pub owes its success to the unique events it attracts. It will be interesting to see what new sorts of activities it will attract in the future.

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