I thought I knew every bar in this city, but every now and again I am surprised to hear a new name pop up in conversation, and this week was no different. “An Tua- what?” I asked my friend over lunch. Never heard of it. An Tua Nua is gaelic for “new beginnings” and is apparently the
local college hotspot on Thursday nights, boasting dollar drafts and a fairly large dance floor for a local bar in Kenmore Square.
Doesn’t sound exactly right up my alley, but my friend was going to be bartending and I happened to have Thursday night off. Game on.
I figured I would get there early to be able to grab a drink before things turned ugly; I remembered my last cheap draft/college night at The Draft in Allston and the place went from empty to mob scene in a matter of seconds. So around 9:30pm I hopped in a cab and headed to Beacon Street.
“Oh, God,” I thought as we pulled up.
The second the cab started to slow we were surrounded by three girls who looked to be about twelve years old. The one who opened my cab door and proceeded to enter the cab as though no one was exiting was wearing a white mesh shirt and a white bra top, her short dirty blonde hair pulled into tiny pigtails. “Excuse me,” I mumbled, thrashing my way out of the cab like it was a sinking ship.
As An Tua Nua came into focus I couldn’t believe it. The line went all the way down the street, at 9:45pm! I’m not one for standing in lines, but I guess I would have to. That’s the one usual perk of working in the service industry: you know people, you don’t do lines. “Hey, Havoc!” Someone yelled.
I looked up to see a welcome sight, a former coworker checking IDs at the door. “You’re all set,” he said, ushering us in.
I gave a grateful hug and slid past the line of scantily clad co-eds and entered the bar. It was set up perfectly, and it really did remind me of a bar back in a small village I used to work at in Ireland. Wooden paneled booths lined the walls and people were everywhere.
We stayed for a few hours, just long enough to realize that if we were going to stay here we would need blurry vision and liquid smiles.
Old habits die hard, I guess.
I know I’m more than a bit taller than average, but I couldn’t help but notice that the dress code for guys seemed to be lumberjack-ish plaid shirts, adorned with short jeans over a 5 foot 7 inch frame. I looked and felt like Godzilla in Japan. About 5 dollar drafts, 2 jager bombs and 4 cocktails later, my wobbly partner in crime and I decided it was time to leave the midget plaid shirt mafia behind and head to higher ground.
On the way out I waved to my friend,
stuck behind the bar looking like he was fighting off hungry zombies, all growling for flesh and dollar beers.
He raised a hand and managed a grin, most certainly jealous of my escape. An Tua Nua, you both impressed and frightened me. Not my style, but Thursday nights are certainly perfect for anyone in college. Girls, just make sure you leave those heels at home.