c/o Vines on Church, Facebook.

c/o Vines on Church, Facebook.

Bar Night stands as one of Wesleyan’s dearest traditions: students migrate around Middletown, going to bars, in search of those life-long Wednesday night memories. But the night itself has changed many times and with every year comes a new scene, a new bar, or a new drama to switch everything up.

Most recently, Vines on Church—formerly known as The Nest—has closed up shop after the committed Wednesday night crowd searched beyond the closest bar to campus.

“Thanks for a couple kickass years of pizza, beer, and great memories,” the defunct bar and restaurant’s Facebook page reads.

According to the same page, the new tenant at 129 Church will be called “The Miller’s Lounge” and will feature a 1920s speakeasy and cabaret theme.

For the seniors now, Bar Night is unrecognizable from what it once was. Their freshman year—meaning the 2013 to 2014 school year—students would pack into The Nest, the bar that was replaced by Vines on Church.

“Our freshman year [Bar Night] was at The Nest, and it was owned by Tim [Curtin], the ultimate homie,” said Jessi Lord ’17. “He was this old guy that reminded me of Santa Claus who was so happy, and he would always name the drink specials after you. We would have, like, ‘The Sonia,’ or names like that. And it was always super packed.”

The bar itself also looked completely different. Instead of the edgy, retro red walls Vines on Church sported until recently, The Nest was all black and white. On top of that, the bar was situated right at the entrance so students would enjoy themselves in the back and on the porch.

“Everyone would come to Bar Night because there was this back room,” said Becca Wagman ’17. “Imagine where the back half of where the bar is, with just huge couches and a massive TV. All the guys would come, sit there, and watch sports. That back room was also our dance room. There was karaoke on Thursday nights too—it was a great time.”

Wednesday was also just generally a much more popular night to go out; many more students went to the Nest, and Bar Night was a staple in Wesleyan’s nightlife.

But their sophomore year, which was the 2014 and 2015 school year, Tim sold The Nest, and no one knew where to go. So, according to Lord and Wagman, a group of junior and senior boys picked The Corner Pocket, but a significantly fewer number of people knew about it.

“It was interesting because when it switched over, no one knew,” Lord said. “And it was always sort of a hit or miss.”

The Corner Pocket, during the 2015 through 2016 school year, was much less popular, and more people went to the newly-opened Vines on Church instead. This year, however, Bar Night started off at Vines on Church, but the narrow floor plan and alcohol quality drew students back toward The Corner Pocket.

“We quickly discovered [Vines on Church] wasn’t the best situation or the best layout,” Lord said. “So the junior lacrosse boys started making events for The Corner Pocket because they have a good relationship with the current owner.”

But as more and more bars join the Middletown community, students are forced to decide which bar to go to. Camps, at 412 Main St., for example, has become another hot spot for students.

“What I love especially about Camps is that the events there are so rare, so it makes it so whenever they do have something happen, everyone goes—even people who aren’t exclusively ‘bar nighters,’” Lord said.

However, Camps has never been popular on Wednesday nights because it’s just too large. Having such a huge space makes the party look thin and less fun. It’s instead become popular for Thursday nights or events.

“For me, Wednesday is designated for Bar Night and Bar Night only,” said Lucy Sogard ’17. “We don’t do anything else on Wednesday night other than Bar Night activities, so Thursday is kind of an open book. The fact that Camps is there now is really exciting.”

The energy for Bar Night comes in waves. Towards the beginning of a semester—for about the first three weeks—Bar Night will attract high numbers of students. Other peak highs include Halloween, close to breaks, and the last month of school.

“Not everyone goes out on Bar Night, so when you go out like every Bar Night, you have to be really dedicated to it,” Sogard said.


  • ’16

    “Bar Night stands as one of Wesleyan’s dearest traditions”

    Ehh does it though? Does it really? Few ever do bar night, and fewer still regularly.

  • Jeremy Caplin

    But who among ye can remember the legendary John B’s, just below Main Street?!

  • douglas wagner

    you guys do know that vines on church was a setup to incriminate weslyan students right? I should know he hired me to work there and I found out that way. watch out for officer josh ward

  • douglas wagner

    they are using the bars for Wesleyan students as a set up to keep an eye on g
    drug trafficking. I should know I know all the police because the have arrested me so many times

  • douglas wagner

    watch out for police at the Wesleyan bars the police in Middletown ct I call them the modern day mafia. if you trust them you will be sorry in the end.

  • douglas wagner

    you are better making your own bar and drinks and smoking your weed at home the police in Middletown ct are getting to smart.

  • douglas wagner

    niel at vines on church is friends with the Middletown police he will snitch you out in a heartbeat

  • douglas wagner

    all the bar tenders are living above the bar and take pictures and know the police also don’t believe me check it out yourself. don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!!!!

  • douglas wagner

    niel also uses people to he used me to get free work but I turned him in to the department of liquor and that’s all it took

  • douglas wagner

    just watch it guys when going to the bars in Middletown they can easily be a set up. watch out for the cop named josh ward he is a fake a phony. he is garbage eaven my lawyer told me so.!!!!!!!

  • douglas wagner

    watch what I do to vines on church next. fun fun fun till daddy takes the keys away

  • douglas wagner

    there is still people living upstairs and down

  • douglas wagner

    are you guys getting any of this info vines on church is a set up beware the vines on church he is a snitch. did you ever notice niel and his cohorts never go to jail?

  • douglas wagner

    did you ever notice how friendly niel is with josh ward

  • douglas wagner

    sorry guys its a wake up call. all of Middletown is corrupt my parents died and left me a inheritance im leaving ct. say goodbye mentaltown ct

  • douglas wagner

    vines on church is a circus. for drugies.dont be a dope don’t become a drugie