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True Life: I Live Above Sconnie Bar

Our writing staff was having one of our recent, uh, brainstorms at Sconnie Bar last week when it dawned on us that an actual human being lives above this bar. Like, every day of their lives, when we’re down here getting drunk and screaming obscenities, they’re up there, like, studying and making omelets. So we reached out to the person who lives above Sconnie Bar to write us an op-ed to describe what it’s like. Here goes.

One of the first things people ask me when I tell them that I live above a bar is, “Isn’t it loud?” To which my response is always, “Yes.”  To many the bar I live above is known as “The Old Lucky’s” because it literally used to be where Lucky’s was before it moved two blocks down the street, but now it’s faithfully-known as Sconnie Bar. And I am one of the handful of residents that lives above it. This is my story.

I moved in last August and it was pretty smooth sailing until the first week of class when “bar culture” commenced. That’s when it started.

The music is the worst: 
It’s not a soft bass, and it’s not soothing. I can hear word-for-word what’s playing downstairs. Which usually helps me feel out the crowd– from the old folks enjoying a drink after the game to the Langdon Street gang thinking they’re hipster for voyaging to a bar that’s not Kollege Klub. But whichever group it is they all play “Closing Time” at 2 a.m., and that’s when I know I can go to sleep.

The first few trips to Sconnie Bar I figured out where the floor-plan of my apartment is above, and have figured out that the jukebox is directly below my kitchen, which is really ideal for when I want to boogie in my kitchen (which is never). But it’s not ideal for my nice China and we have replaced it all with paper products at this point.

Having to wait in line… to go home:
One night I tried to go downstairs for the Thursday-night DJ, only to find myself waiting in a line behind a group of 14 girls all with fake IDs from Utah. For my own fucking building. I yelled out in front of them, “Hey LAdiES, I live here, step aside.” And they all gave me the most sympathetic look and one handed me her six-month AA chip to tell me I wasn’t alone.

The added entertainment:
Then there’s the people who love to fight in the parking lot. These fights are always louder than anything in the actual bar, and they’re usually pretty entertaining. I always eventually get a wave from the fighters from down below once they spot me with my bowl of popcorn and my robe watching from my room above. But, I once witnessed someone literally start another dude’s pants on fire and that’s when I decided to watch with caution and have a seventh additional lock installed on my door.

ThE FrIenDs AlOng ThE WaY:
I of course can’t forget Luke, the forty-seven-year-old bartender I naively confessed to that I live upstairs, hoping that it would get me free drinks. It didn’t. And now he always wants to walk me the 15 feet it takes to get to my door to make sure I’m home okay and then asks if my roommate would be cool if he came up for a nightcap, even though I didn’t invite him.

I’m basically living in a zoo:
One of the worst aspects of living above Sconnie are the windows into the bar that I walk past anytime I leave or enter my apartment. Imagine being a zoo animal for drunkards to observe at all hours of the day. Spilled coffee on yourself? Wearing a stupid hat? The guys playing darts will notice and they will point and laugh. Or, if you’re lucky that creepy bartender you were talking about will notice you and run out to ask you where you’ve been lately.

And finally, the very worst part — game days:
But it is Badger. Home. Football. Games. that take the bait for the worst experience of living above Sconnie Bar. The bar’s close proximity to Camp Randall makes it the perfect last stop for Regent Street barhopping on game days. Expect there to be no parking, so don’t plan on leaving ever.  Expect drunk moms to ask you to bring down a shot from your apartment because they don’t want to pay the cover to get into the bar, but something “fruity.” Expect a giant, inflatable beer bottle to be eye level with you from your second-story window when you wake up. But most importantly, if it’s an 11 a.m. game, expect to be woken up at 4 a.m. to two guys dragging the port-o-potties around trying to decide on what the best placement is.

Do I get the luxury of only having a 20 second walk to a bar? Can I wear my pajamas if I want to because I can just yell to everyone that I live upstairs in my defense and be understood? Can I scope out the crowd before deciding if I want to go out? Does the kitchen already know my regular order of chicken tenders and waffle fries on Tuesdays for lunch? All of the answers are yes.

Does it make it any better despite all of the above travesties? Absolutely not, and if housing prices weren’t so inflated in Madtown I would not live above that shit motel.


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