Brothers Bar and Grill

529090_10151462770980601_1508330929_nThere is no argument that Brothers is the most popular bar for University of Iowa students in Iowa City. However, just because it is the most popular does not make it the best. I won’t say I don’t like going there, because I am there frequently, but there is plenty to detract me from going there if I can help it.

Brothers has a lot to offer when it comes to space. It is one of the largest bars in Iowa City with a variety of areas. The bar has a large outdoor patio, a good sized dance floor, pool tables, and plenty of sitting and standing room. However, even with all the space the bar fills up quickly after 10 p.m. and is one of the few places you will have to wait in line to get into. The only other bar that regularly has a line is Union.

After waiting in line to get inside of Brothers, expect to be waiting for the rest of the night. Like moths to a flame so is the UI student to the bar. Working your way up to the bar can seem like hours, and once you’re there its more waiting to get the bartender’s attention. If you can make your way to the farthest part of the bar from the front door you will have the most luck getting drinks. I don’t know why but the bartender’s seem to congregate there, and most patrons are in the front and middle sections of the bar.

One of the great things about Brothers is their extensive list of specials. Thursday night’s Mug Club is their most popular where you can buy and then save a mug for $5 and then get refills on well drinks, long islands, Busch light and Keystone for $1 all night. I suggest sticking with the beer because the well alcohol is most definitely watered down to the point where you aren’t effected by the drink at all.

While there is a lot of waiting involved when you go to Brothers, there is a reason it is the most popular bar.
I don’t know that reason, but it is, so if you want to go out with some friends and know you will run into more friends and recognize/meet people from class, Brothers is the bar.

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The Union Bar

photo source: cdn.bleacherreport.net

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.