College Night Wednesdays

by Christopher Smith | Staff Writer |

 

You on a Wednesday night might include cleaning dirty laundry and watching old episodes of Seinfeld, but you could be shuffling on the dance floor with longneck in hand.

At least that’s what they’re doing on College Night at Brandin’ Iron Country Saloon and Dance Hall. Every Wednesday night from 7pm-3am college students from around the Inland Empire come together to dance, drink, and have a good time.

“I like that there is a variety of people, cultures, and everything,” said Manpraet Singh, sophomore student at California Baptist University. “I used to come here last year during my freshman year; this is probably my 6th time being here.”

The Brandin’ Iron is a one level bar with at least three different spots inside that you could get drinks from. There is a gated patio outside for those who smoke, get too hot inside the bar, or want a quieter place to talk. Outside there’s a line for 21+ and a line for people who are 18+.

As Singh said there are a variety of people that come to this bar, it’s definitely reflected in the music that is played throughout the night.  The DJ plays a set ranging from hip-hop, pop, country, meringue, and dubstep. It seemed for every genre of music there was a different dance step. People were line dancing, shuffling, and hitting the dougie.  Whatever they played there were always people on the floor.

The dance floor is in the center of the bar in front of a stage where the club sometimes have live bands perform. On the sides of the dance floor there are tables and chairs for people to converse and drink without worrying about their cups being knocked over. This night there were between 700-800 people in the venue.

“On Wednesday nights we usually get between 1600-2000 people in here,” said Thomas Penn, manager of the saloon. “Our busiest night, the Wednesday night before thanksgiving we have anywhere from 2500-3500 people here.”

According to Penn the venue used to be a bowling alley when it was built in 1963. The place stayed that way for five years until someone bought it and turned it into a bar. Then 19 years ago his boss and current owner Bill Thomas bought the venue and converted it into where college students party at on Wednesday nights.

“Just in the general vicinity we’ve got 6 colleges including the university, couple of JC’s and a couple of trade schools that have live-ins and at least 10 military bases in driving distance from here,” said Penn.

Singh enjoys the music and the people, but wouldn’t recommend this venue to her friends. One of her friends that accompanied her for the outing thinks differently.

“I like the atmosphere and the $2 beers and I would recommend this place to people,” said Amanda Senteno, junior at California Baptist University.

One thing Senteno said she disliked about the bar was the college drama she experienced there before. An incident where her friend’s boyfriend was cheating almost led to a fight. A squabble also occurred during this college night and was shortly broken up by security and staff.

“It’s a bar, so you can expect a little bit of people to have too much to drink and have too much fun,” said Penn.

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