It would be hard to find a University of Iowa student who has not been to Union. It is smack dab in the middle of the pedmall, and is the largest bar in Iowa City. With four bars on three levels, a large dance floor, flashing lights, and decent djs the energy inside is usually on a level between crazy and mess.
I had my first experience with Union when I was visiting some friends before I decided to transfer. When we got to the dance floor I was instantly reminded of the dance clubs I went to on a spring break trip to Mexico my senior year of high school. Because I like to dance like a fool I usually have a great time there. But a lesson learned and relearned is to not overdo it on the $10 bottles of Andre they sell right next to the dance floor on Saturday nights. It is a trap and you will regret it the next morning if you and your friends all decided to buy a personal bottle and go dance the night away. I was once approached by an employee and told I was “going too hard,” and was asked to leave the bar. (That’s the nice version of the story)
However, I have found that for the same reasons I think Union is so much fun, others do not. I know many other students who have vowed to never go back, or claim they haven’t been there since their sophomore year and comment about how “trashy” or “ghetto” it is. I will agree that it looks like most of the people who frequent Union are underclassmen. This is proven by the amount of girls that will wait in line in the freezing cold without coats and wearing high heels.
Whether or not that is your scene every student or person visiting Iowa City for the nightlife should experience Union at least once. The bar’s website boasts that it is consistently ranked as one of the best parties in the USA by Playboy. And hey, the drink specials are pretty great.