Local night life offers something for everyone

The Copper Bar (810 Wabash Ave.) features an upstairs with its own bar, as well as a patio area. In addition to serving food, the Copper Bar has daily drink specials, such as pineapple upside down cake shots on Tuesdays and domestic buckets on Sundays.

With Homecoming days away, local bar owners are getting ready to welcome thousands of people for The Walk.

Every year, thousands of students, alumni and others trek from campus to the stadium, stopping at local bars along the way.

While ISU does not claim or promote The Walk, bar owners associated with The Walk have no problem with the activity.

Many embrace the event and its revenue by having extra activities other than normal business.

7th & Elm Bar and Grill, The Ballyhoo Tavern (The Bally) and The Saratoga Bar and Café will all be opening at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

In addition to early hours, walkers will see special menus for The Walk. 7th & Elm and Saratoga will have breakfast menus, and Sonka's Irish Pub will have a hand-friendly menu, featuring items that are easy to carry.

Tents will also be present at many bars, including The Terminal Sports and Spirits and Speakeasy Conversation Bar. Speakeasy will  close part of 18th Street to have a beer truck and a live band.

On top of these extra activities, bars will also step up on security. Many of the bar owners along The Walk said they will have off-duty police officers and extra staff. 

7th & Elm, though normally open to all ages, will only allow those over 21 years of age, and officers at Sonka's will not let in anyone who appears to be intoxicated.

Sandy Boyles-Gillen, owner of Sonka's Irish Pub for 25 years, said, "There is noting else in Terre Haute that brings 3,000 people to your door."

Andy Brandt, owner of Speakeasy for seven years, agreed that Homecoming is the biggest day of business in the year.

"There is no denying that," he said.

However, local bar owners enjoy The Walk for many reasons other than its boost in revenue.

Denise Rowlett, owner of the Terminal for 15 years said, "A lot of people think that it is about the drinking, but I think it's about getting together with friends you haven't seen in a few years."

Jay Knott, general manager of The Bally, said The Walk is a good tradition and that it is cool to see the different generations of ISU people.

Brandt said the amount of problems is surprisingly small, and Rowlett said the number is low compared to the amount of people.

George Azar, owner of the Saratoga for 34 years, said the one time he ever saw a problem during The Walk, the person involved was unrelated to The Walk or ISU.

Boyles-Gillen said that she hopes people remember to drink responsibly and remember "they don't have to drink a brewery."