Way back in the day, Brown University students flocked to Fish Company Bar & Grille (aka FishCo) every Wednesday night for alcohol, stripper poles, and bouncers who were happy to turn a blind eye to even the worst of fake IDs. But FishCo sadly closed in 2011 (perhaps because of said bouncers), right before the current seniors arrived at Brown for their freshman year. In its place opened The Whiskey Republic – or WhisCo, in homage to its predecessor – yet again providing a Wednesday night activity for Brown Students.
This fall, though, there has been something amiss on our regular hump day Whiskey visits. What has traditionally been Brown Night seems to have transformed into Providence College (PC) Night, with a smattering of 21+ Brown students.
PC night has traditionally been on Thursdays, but only allows 21+ students. Recently, PC students caught wind of the 18+ privilege that has been bestowed upon Brown, and naturally flocked to the bar on Wednesday, crowding the 18+ line before Brown students had even started pre-gaming. The Brown students of legal drinking age had no trouble getting in, but those without legit IDs (or really, really good fakes) were deterred by the absurdly long line and peaced it back to campus. One sophomore says, “One night… we walked all the way down there and literally as soon as Whiskey came into our sights we saw about 150 kids wandering around the street and I just kept hearing ‘at capacity, at capacity.’ I honestly only recognized, like, 10 kids outside, all the rest were PC kids. That was precipitated by the week before, when we got there and the lines were already around the corner, and I tried sneaking in through a side door and got kicked out and had to take a full lap around the block, then barely got back into Whiskey. So yeah, after that second time I tried going, I knew we were fucked.”
After a couple weeks of these shenanigans, rumors began to swirl that Brown night at Whiskey would be coming to a halt, perhaps because the PC students were a more reliable source of profit. I sat down with Grant Senne ’16, a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and Brown night coordinator, for the inside scoop.
Can you address the rumors that Wednesday night is becoming PC night?
It is not. There has been a Providence College contingent that [has] probably been higher than it has in the past, due to, I’d say, a dwindling number of Brown students just electing not to come out on Wednesday night for whatever reason […] whether it’s midterms or studying. It is still a Brown event, and through things like this UNICEF event that’s going on tonight, which is a fundraising night, the owners of the Whiskey Republic and [Theta Delta Chi fraternity] plan to continue to make it a Brown night. And to enforce that and try to get Brown attendance back up, if you bring your Brown ID you get to skip the line… in order to ensure that if there’s a Brown student there, they’re not turned off by the fact that there are Providence College students waiting in line as well. So we can still make it as much of a Brown event as people want it to be.
Do you think that’s going to solve the problem of more PC students getting into Whiskey than Brown students?
There’s a capacity at Whiskey Republic, and they are doing everything they can to make the Brown contingency a priority on Wednesday night. There is a Providence College night, which is Thursday, so they are working with us to have [Wednesday] be a Brown night. And one of the ways we’re enforcing that is to have a Brown ID. It’ll be as much of a Brown night as students want it to be. It’s been a longstanding thing.
Has Theta Delta Chi always been in charge of Brown night?
Yeah. Earlier in the 2000s, there was a New England native who knew of [FishCo] and so he reached out to the bar about possibly doing something, because there was no weekly night for Brown students who wanted to go out. And then the ownership changed but the [Brown night tradition] was something that the new owners wanted to hold onto.
If you’re creating a new line that’s allowing Brown students to jump ahead of non-Brown students, are there going to be three lines (21+ Brown students, 18+ Brown students, and all non-Brown students) or just all Brown students in one line?
So the lines are going to stay the same, we’re just doing the best to make it understood that you can go to the front of the line and show your Brown ID and that will give you preference over someone who doesn’t have a Brown ID. [The bouncers] are going to try to admit Brown students as much as possible, whether that’s 18+ or 21+. You’ll still have to enter with your normal ID like always. The admission and how many they take from the 21+ line and how many from the 18+ line is the prerogative of the bouncers checking IDs. I would assume, just based on common sense, that they have a certain profit incentive to let in people who can actually drink because they’re the ones who are going to spend money at the bar. They just assured us that they’re going to do their best to let in Brown students.
Sounds like it’s going to become an upper-classmen thing.
Someone told me that you guys make more money than the bartenders. Is that true?
I don’t think that’s true.
Any last words?
I encourage people to keep making Brown night at Whiskey a thing because it’s a tradition that we think people enjoy. We also want to be a liason for the Whiskey Republic to serve as a place that other people can use. There are so many Brown groups, and it is such a well-known spot. And [the event] doesn’t have to be on a Wednesday. People can contact us.