Clubbing Culture: Willow Restaurant

Price of Entry: £2 (£4 on Friday and Saturday)
Drink Deals: £1 Sambuca, Tequila and Baileys
Unique Attractions: Prawn Crackers

To anyone whose been, it should come as no surprise that there is a reason Willow associates itself with the Marmite slogan “love it or hate it”. A Cantonese restaurant by day, and a cheesy disco with the chairs put to a corner by night, you would think “hate it” was the more operative saying. Yet, Willow has become one of the most popular club destinations for York students and is definitely the most talked about. It could be the fact that Willow serves £1 tequila and sambuca shots all night that is the source of its fame. Or maybe its because it stays open well past any other club in town. One things for sure, the Willow queue is guaranteed to be practically a mile long come 1am. I had a chat to some York students about York’s most iconic clubbing venue.

Photo: Jack Western

Photo: Jack Western

The venue?:

Charlotte: “Sort of like what you imagine the strip would be if you went to Magaluf or Ibiza. Not that glamorous during the daytime, but no one cares when the sun goes down because the atmosphere is so good and you’re smashed.”

Sarah: “Loud. It can also be quite claustrophobic. But all clubs are really. The fact its a Chinese restaurant during the day probably makes it the most unique of the nightclubs in York. It’s also handy in the sense there is a seating section upstairs if you’re not much of a dancer, but just an alcoholic.”

Typical Willow crowd?:

Christian: “Horny and drunk would be the most accurate description.”

Tom: “Just imagine really really drunk people. All possible types of drunks – the angry drunk, the emotional drunk, the happy drunk, the crazy drunk – all bonded by our drunkenness. Either that or looking to pick up a girl or boy to take home. Or both.”

Dress code?:

Tom: “It could be anything literally. Fancy dress from the social you just attended. People have been known to turn up in suits. Everyone’s usually coming from another club or party.”

Sarah: “You can wear anything but its not right if there is no alcohol spilt all over it and for your make-up not to be smudged. I reckon you could get in if you even went in your underwear.”

What you’re most likely to see/hear there?:

Stephen: “Some heavy public displays of affection. Lots of tequila.”

Tom: “Rubbish dance moves. You’re most likely to hear really cheesy tunes. At least this is what am told. Sambuca ensures I don’t remember my Willow nights”

Callum: “Prawn Crackers”

Christian: “You’re most likely to hear someone shouting ‘shots?'”

Best thing about Willow?:

Callum: “Prawn crackers”

Charlotte: “The way that by this time of the night you’ve lost all inhibitions and dignity anyway, so you can just let go and have a great time. You can cringe about it tomorrow.”

Worst thing about Willow?:

Tom: “The hangover it causes the next day.”

Sarah: “Going into Willow stone cold sober can be a bit grim.”

Callum: “Prawn Crackers”

Willow in one word?:

Stephen: “Amazing”

Christian: “Willow can not be described in one word. You’ll just have to go yourself and see why it’s so popular.”