With the Clubs Gone, Is it Time for York’s Pub Scene to Finally Shine?

Charlie Cooling

The indefinite closure of nightclubs across the country in March was met by many on campus with a collective sigh of dismay, and the closure of pubs with an even louder harrumph exhaled by elderly and young alike.

(Image: YorkshireFoodGuide.co.uk)

The indefinite closure of nightclubs across the country in March was met by many on campus with a collective sigh of dismay, and the closure of pubs with an even louder harrumph exhaled by elderly and young alike.

However, York students were mainly only mourning the loss of their ability to splash out Yoyo points in campus bars, with few having experienced the wealth of free houses York has on offer. The path of students only venturing out into town, away from the confines of their halls/houses, for a YUSU promoted night out, is one that is far too well tread, and extremely unwise.

Of course, people will often stop on the way into town at Stone Roses, Lowther and, dare I say, Flares. But with club queues growing longer by the end of last year, many people I knew would skip straight to the meat of their night out without making any pitstops. 

As YUSU student nights in town are looking less likely to make a return anytime soon, freshers should use their free evenings (or at least until BoJo says they can’t) to get to grips with the extremely diverse selection of pubs and bars at their fingertips, whether these be in town or local boozers in Fulford and Tang Hall.

Will you really be missing out that much without the aforementioned clubs in your life? Well, unfortunately for freshers, the answer is yes. Despite the clubs in York having a similar amount of diversity between them as that offered by the perennial Engineering cohort, the amount of fun you have on nights here is not dictated by the quality of the DJ sets (which by the way, I am convinced is just one USB stick held in a safe in the YUSU office, shared between clubs, and updated on a decade-by-decade basis).

The sweet stench of Tiki Bar in Kuda, the smoky haze of Salvos’ top floor, and the lingering anxiety that follows you after you’ve stuffed your one smart jacket in a dark corner in Revs, hoping nobody steals it, even though it’s a polyester blend from Primark, is unparalleled, and only adds to the thrill of the night.

You will make memories that will stick with you for a lifetime in these clubs when (if) they ever reopen, and please don’t take the stick you will get from your mates at other unis across the country about how ‘boring’ York’s nightlife is, because let’s face it, it’s unlikely they’ve ever had the pleasure of downing Blue Shits™ in Stone Roses before nearly drowning in their own sweat in Salvos. To top it off, it’s also unlikely they’ll even have their own ‘superior’ techno and DnB fuelled venues reopened any time soon.

However, these halcyon days may seem far away, so for now all I can do is encourage you to make the most of the excellent pubs on offer on campus and beyond, and not to wait until your last few months at uni to finally appreciate York for what it is, a wonderful city full of wonderful pubs.

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