This past week, news slowly spread amongst the NYU community that the beloved East Village bar, Pourhouse, has been shut down. It happened very abruptly. Most students shared the same sentiment of I-mean-I-wasn’t-planning-on-going-there-any-time-soon-but-what-if-I-wanted-to?
Students are having fun exploring their own ideas for why Pourhouse closed so suddenly. The most popular is the idea that it must have been fined by the police at least 18 times in the past decade for underage drinking, and it had finally become fiscally impossible to keep the bar open. Another theory, comes from a particularly astute freshman, who offhandedly suggested that it was all the STDs on the toilet seats; the very visible STDs, as in, the toilet seats are so rife with STDs that they have become observable to the naked eye through sheer quantity.
Certainly no one seems to blame the bar’s name, which effectively likens its alcoholic offerings to charity for the poverty stricken. It’s pretty accurate, and not as obnoxious as some of the other pun bar names near or on 3rd Avenue, like Bar None (Really? Bar none? Bar, maybe, like, a couple) and Durden’s, which in its very nature contradicts the philosophy of Tyler Durden (although most people will say that the film Fight Club is a contradiction of Tyler Durden’s philosophy, and then suddenly water is air and air is water.)
But for all its faults and flaws, the closing of Pourhouse has struck a chord with most NYU students. Even upperclassmen elicited faint “awes” (or perhaps guilty chuckles) at the mention of Pourhouse closing. It’s because that name—Pourhouse—carries a lot of weight with a lot of people.
College freshmen have a very special relationship with the shitty bars around their campuses, but NYU is unique because these bars aren’t exclusive to college kids. Only in bars like Pourhouse can the clientele range from creepy thirty-one-year-old men with neck beards and far-too-skinny jeans to exceedingly wealthy 16-year-old girls from the Upper East Side who can get fake IDs far too easily. Even freshmen from Columbia can be found in the dark, wet, corners of Pourhouse occasionally. It truly captures the diverse spirit of NYU.
Freshmen bars are a magical place where you’re guaranteed to get drunk and get laid. You might not like how much you’re paying for one beer (it’s ONE BEER AND IT’S NOT GOOD), or what you do once you’re drunk, or who you actually went home with when the morning after rolls around, but god damnit it’s nice to have guarantees in life.
Where else can you slip on beer that you yourself just spilled only moments ago? Where else can you pee in a trashcan? Where else can you convince someone else to leave with you without sharing more than three sentences? Where else can you expect- nay, prepare to be grinded on by unwanted parties? It’s somewhere that’s close enough to Gotham and Joe’s that you can always pull the “Let’s go get pizza!” move. It’s somewhere that requires only that you look vaguely like the picture on your ID and prove your ability to recite three facts printed on it. It’s somewhere that everybody only ever actually wants to go to about once.
Bars like Pourhouse are a cornerstone of the freshmen New York experience, in that they teach us to raise the bar for ourselves (pun well intended, looking at you Bar None), and that the farther away from campus we get, the better the night. Pourhouse was a big player in that magical freshmen wonderland and will be missed, but don’t fear. EV Grieve has stated that a new bar will be taking its place; a rock themed bar called E.Vil. (Get it? Evil like the Rock n’ Roll vibe, but also like East Village??) We’re sure E.Vil will do its part to help paying freshmen achieve their early first semester dreams. And regrets.
Like booze before noon? So do these guys…