The Union Bar holds a cherished history

A Saturday night in the beloved city of Athens is one of a kind. Whether it be spent with friends at your favorite bar, at the historic Athena, or with a Whitzer in hand, nightlife in Athens draws people together.

But for many, it is The Union Bar and Grille that sets nightlife in Athens apart from the rest – the wooden interior and the resulting aroma, the beloved history of the building itself, the eclectic collection of townies and hipsters resembling townies, and the sense of closeness and acceptance exchanged between bar regulars. It is these things and many, many more that have shaped The Union into what has grown to be so cherished in the hearts of the Athens community.

On November 16th, 2014, news broke of the devastating fire that destroyed several buildings along Union Street at 4 a.m. the day, including the beloved Union Bar and Grill. The Union reached out to the Athens community regarding the news via Facebook.

To the Union extended family, I’m sad to report that early this morning a fire started on our block of Union Street. Though firefighters made heroic efforts to contain the blaze, it quickly spread down the street to us. I currently don’t know the full extent of the damage but it is very extensive. Thankfully no one was injured, but The Union as we knew it is no more. I truly appreciate all the offers of help and warm sentiments. The Union was a second home to so many of us (including myself), it makes my heart ache. As I know more I will try to keep this page updated. Hopefully the place will have a good phoenix story coming soon.

In March of 2015, Athens City council members made the decision to declare the buildings destroyed in the fire a “historic district”.

The charm of the Union Bar and Grille can be attributed to its cherished and diverse history. The building itself has been around since 1900, making it one of the oldest buildings destroyed in the fire. According to Athens News, the building was purchased in 1945 by the father of The Union’s previous, the Couladis brothers. Before Mr. Couladis purchased the building, it was home to a variety of businesses, includingThe Elk Hotel and a bar/restaurant called The Hot Dog.

In 1924, according to Athens Messenger, it was converted into a residence hall for Ohio University students. Eric Gunn, current owner of The Union Bar and Grill told Athens Messenger, “Around the 1960s, upstairs became what it is now. Downstairs has pretty much stayed the same up until the remodel in 2008.”

To current residents of Athens, The Union Bar and Grille was known for its music scene. Over the years, The Union has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including The White Stripes and The Black Keys, according to The Athens News. But what sets The Union apart is its loyalty to local musicians. Blond, a “reverb rock” band based in Athens, was the last band to play at The Union before the November 16th fire, according to The Union’s Facebook page.

As far as the rebuilding of the Union, progress has been slow. Several local news affiliates believed the rebuilding process to have been completed by the end of summer 2015, but a portion of W. Union remains blocked off.

What are you favorite memories of The Union Bar and Grill? Let us know!

Ohio University offers a diverse array of history courses

Most students at Ohio University are required to enroll in a history course in order to fulfill a general requirement. Luckily for Bobcats, Ohio University has made several interesting history courses available, ranging from The Rise of Modern Asia to The History of Rock and Roll.

Meghan Cupach, a sophomore studying Business and Marketing, has taken two history classes during her time spent at Ohio University. She was enrolled in Introduction to World History Before 1750 in the fall of 2015. The course was taught by Professor Monika Flaschka who, according to RateMyProfessors.com “is a great professor. Her lectures are pretty clear cut and never seem long. She sets out clear standards for you and even gives you a study guide that literally tells you everything on the exams.”

In regards to the course itself, Meghan referred to the material as “boring”, but added that Flaschka made the course enjoyable, “She put things in ways that would help me understand it easier. She knew that history wasn’t a very exciting subject so she tried to make it as exciting as she possibly could.”

Meghan was also enrolled in Introduction to World History Since 1750 in the spring of 2015 with Ziad Abu-Rish, an assistant professor of history. “I like Ziad because you can tell he really cares about the subject and how well we do in the course,” Meghan says, “He’s always making himself available for help with his office hours.”

Meghan admits that Professor Abu-Rish has been her favorite instructor since she started at Ohio University, “It’s nice having a professor who actually cares how well his students do rather than someone who just curves the exams so most of us pass.”

Nathanial Fosnaugh, a junior studying Finance, was enrolled in The Rise of Modern Asia in the fall of 2015 with Professor Joshua Hill. “The course in general was interesting and engaging. Hill took it to another level with his teaching,” Nathanial says. Professor Joshua Hill, who received a PhD in history from Harvard University, is an assistant professor within the history department. “Hill was very passionate and you could tell he cared a lot about the subject,” he says, “I would highly recommend taking a course with Professor Hill, even if it’s not The Rise of Modern Asia. He’s a great guy.”

It’s not uncommon for courses to fall short of expectations, however. Nate Beverly, a junior studying psychology pre-med, fell victim to such a course when he enrolled in The History of The Vietnam War. “I really liked my professor. He was extremely well-educated on the topic and had the facts down pat.” However, Nate admits that as educated and experienced as his professor was, he was not as engaging as Nate hoped he’d be. “He was incredibly boring to listen to though, just because most of his lectures involved him spouting facts constantly.” When asked if he’d recommend the class to a friend, Nate says, “The class itself had interesting info, but I honestly did not like it.”

Apart from the several World History courses offered at Ohio University, courses like The History of Rock and Roll can be a breath of fresh air for students looking for an easy way to fulfill a general requirement. Lloyd Seiter, a junior studying Chemical Engineering is currently enrolled in the course with award-winning Professor Andre Gribou, a professor of piano, composition, and general studies. “Dr. Gribou is a swell fellow who has lived long enough to witness The Doors perform live, the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan, and the age of rock be suffocated by the likes of Justin Bieber,” he says, “His passion for the subject is paralleled by none.”

Professor Gribou has received an A- on RateMyProfessors.com. “Professor Gribou is my favorite professor that I have had so far. He is very knowledgeable in the music field and shows that he knows what he is talking about. He is also very passionate about music and expresses that through his lectures. I would definitely request everyone to take his class,” says an anonymous commenter. Lloyd agrees, “I’d definitely recommend the class to a friend that expressed any interest in Rock and Roll.”

Which history course have you taken at Ohio University? Let us know!

Veggie-friendly meals available on Court Street for “drunchies”

By KIRSTEN CUPACH

It’s 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

The bartender at Courtside just announced last call, so you and your friend have no choice but to take your watered-down vodka sours to the face. It’s at this point in the night that the drunk munchies – the “drunchies” – begin to take full effect. You stumble up and down Court Street searching for the most delectable of drunk foods. You turn the corner onto West State Street and zero in on O’Betty’s – a chili dog would be the perfect ending to an already perfect night out. It’s then when your friend turns to you and says, “I’m a vegetarian.” As a good friend, you’d think the best move would lead your party towards GoodFella’s to give your friend an opportunity to satisfy his or her drunchies. A veggie pizza should do the trick, right?

Sure, but not always. Luckily for vegetarian Bobcats, several restaurants, including O’Betty’s, scattered up and down Court Street offer vegetarian snacks that are perfect for satisfying a vegetarian’s late-night or early morning munchies. Listed below are some of the best Court Street has to offer.

1 – O’Betty’s

O’ Betty’s is a Bobcat favorite. O’Betty’s hotdogs are just greasy enough to satisfy any tipsy Bobcat’s drunchies. But besides the obvious vegetarian options O’Betty’s offers such as french fries and coleslaw, each and every hotdog on the menu can be prepared vegetarian-friendly. According to O’Betty’s website, “Our own vegetarian Smoky Shy is a Vegan ‘not-dog Soy Boy’ and will stand in for any beef dog varietease at your request at NO EXTRA CHARGE”, which means that even an O’Betty’s favorite, like Dixie, can be enjoyed by a vegetarian, or even vegan, Bobcat. Lily, another hotdog on the menu, is even prepared with vegetarian-style baked beans.

2 – Big Mamma’s

Big Mamma’s was recently featured on Buzzfeed’s “The 43 Best Drunken Eats In College Towns Across America”. Fortunately, vegetarian Bobcats don’t need to miss out on what Big Mamma’s has to offer. The Veggie Mamma Burrito is, according to Big Mamma’s Facebook page, “A giant burrito with your choice of salsa and rice, sour cream, cheese, onions, beans, fresh red peppers, fresh cilantro, and lime juice.” Similarly to O’Betty’s, Big Mamma’s prepares most of its burritos veggie style, including the Chipotle Ranch, Loaded Mamma, and Buffalo Mamma burritos, by swapping the meat with beans, guac, or hummus. The veggie-style Piquito is “similar in size to a soft taco, but with different toppings” and is served with refried beans or black beans, onions, cilantro, red pepper, lime juice, guacamole, and salsa. The Veggie Gringo is a soft taco served with “refried or black beans, fresh red peppers, onions, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and your choice of salsa.” Veggie nachos topped with cheese, onion, tomato, sour cream, and guacamole are also available.

3 – Uptown Grill

Uptown Grill is famous for its Chicken ‘N’ Waffle Sandwich, which, unfortunately, has no vegetarian option. But the Grill offers a delicious veggie burger made with spicy black beans and served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and American cheese that gives the Chicken ‘N’ Waffle sandwich a run for its money. Uptown Grill also has an extensive french fry menu as well, consisting of cheesy fries with Ranch, loaded fries, and tons of toppings, including jalapenos, sour cream, and garlic seasoning.

4 – Souvlaki’s

Souvlaki’s Mediterranean Garden may be the best place to turn to for vegetarians looking to satisfy his or her drunchies. Souvlaki’s prepares veggie-friendly gyros, pitas, appetizers, and much, much more. The Veggie Gyro is served with tomato, lettuce, onion, American cheese, and tzatziki sauce. The Vegetarian Pita is served with cheese, tomato, lettuce, American cheese, and mayo. Souvlaki’s falafel is junior Molly McIlvain’s favorite veggie-friendly drunken snack. “After years of drunk pizza, it was refreshing to enjoy the falafel at Souvlaki’s. I was pleasantly surprised,” she says. It’s served with tomato, onion, lettuce, cucumber, and tahini sauce. Souvlaki’s also serves homemade vegetarian hummus and spanakopita.

Do you have any favorite veggie-friendly snacks you’d like to share with us? Let us know!

10 of the best Halloween-themed treats on Pinterest

Whatever your plans may be this weekend, we’ve got the Halloween-themed treats you need to make it a little spookier — in the best way.

 

This spooky spin on every college student’s favorite food…

Halloween-themed treat #1
Photo from Pinterest.

For those who’ve decided to stay in and binge-watch classic Halloween movies…

Halloween-themed treat #2
Photo from Pinterest

This adorable adaptation of a crowd favorite…

Halloween-themed treat #3
Photo from Pinterest.

A healthy Halloween-themed option…

 

Halloween-themed treat #4
Photo from Pinterest.

This one’s called “Hallowine” Sangria. Need I say more?

Halloween-themed treat #5
Photo from Pinterest.

For the kid in all of us…

Halloween-themed treat #6
Photo from Pinterest.

Anyone looking to get freaky this Halloween?

Halloween-themed treat #7
Photo from Pinterest.

 

This witchin’ cocktail…

Halloween-themed treat #8
Photo from Pinterest.

 

Or this one…

Halloween-themed treat #9
Photo from Pinterest.

 

A really popular snack during Halloween…

Halloween-themed treat #10
Photo from Pinterest.

Do you have any Halloween-themed treats you’d like to share with us? Let us know!

Court Street offers a small, but effective selection for business attire shoppers

Unfortunately for Ohio University students, Court Street may not be the best place to shop for business professional attire, which leaves interns, students in business professional groups, and interviewees out of luck when wanting to dress to impress.

However, a few retail clothing shops on Court Street offer wide selections of business casual clothing. At Ohio University, business casual attire is usually acceptable in most professional situations, including class presentations, campus internships, and interviews of all kinds. Fortunately for Bobcats in need of this type of clothing, especially women, Court Street is scattered with boutiques that provide with at least a section of trendy, appropriate, and affordable business attire.

The Other Place, located at 43 S Court Street, is most definitely the most well-known retail clothing store on Court Street. While a majority of the store’s clothing is trendy and causal, it’s not impossible to find a business casual blouse, sweater, or cardigan that can be easily paired with khakis or dress slacks. The Other Place also sells brand name shoes, like Toms, that are both professional and comfortable enough for the office or when giving a lengthy presentation. Unfortunately, The Other Place’s clothing selection is limited to casual and business casual attire, meaning the hunt for business professional clothing must continue elsewhere. The button-up blouse pictured below is featured on The Other Place’s Facebook page and is no longer in stock. It is, however, a great example of the acceptable, yet limited, business casual clothing selection The Other Place has to offer. It can easily be paired with black dress slacks, a blazer, and ballet flats for an interview-ready outfit.

Photo from Facebook.
Photo from Facebook.

Figleaf Boutique, located at 57 N Court Street, has been in Athens since 1995. Similar to The Other Place, Figleaf Boutique’s style is trendy. However, Figleaf offers a much wider selection of business casual clothing than does The Other Place. It’s stocked with sweaters, blouses, cardigans, and dresses acceptable for most business related occasions. Unknown to many Athens residents, Figleaf Boutique is located in several other towns and cities across the country. Its accompanying website allows shoppers to browse a much wider selection of clothing, as compared to the in-store selection. This blouse is featured on Figleaf’s website, and can easily be paired with dress slacks and kitten heels to attain an acceptable business casual outfit.

Although not located on Court Street, Bluetique offers a small, but appropriate, selection of business casual clothing. Bluetique opened in August and is located in several other college towns across the country, including Oxford, OH, Lexington, KY, and Chapel Hill, NC. Bluetique is located at 19 W State Street. The sweater dress pictured below can be paired with tights and ballet flats for an outfit acceptable for any business causal environment.

Photo from shopbluetique.com.
Photo from shopbluetique.com.

While The Other Place, Figleaf Boutique, and Bluetique will undoubtedly meet the needs of students in search of business casual attire, business casual attire does not provide an alternative to business professional clothing. The lack of retail clothing shops on Court Street that sell business professional clothing presents many Ohio University students with a challenge. However, several stores located in The Market on State, Athens’ mall, sell business professional clothing, including Maurice’s and Elder-Beerman.

A Bobcat’s guide to a HallOUween-worthy costume

By KIRSTEN CUPACH

As the annual Halloween Blocky Party approaches, Bobcats and out-of-towners making their way to Athens to join in on the festivities are preparing costumes they hope will be HallOUween-worthy. Fortunately for Athens residents, costume shops, thrift stores, and others are scattered up and down Court Street prepared to satisfy all costume needs. According to employees from 3 of the several shops in Athens, Halloween is their busiest time of year. This is no surprise considering just how important a tradition HallOUween has become to Bobcats over the years. Denise Scalfano, a junior studying math and computer science, admits to spending too much money on costumes, “Honestly, I probably spend too much money on my costume each year, but I think it’s really important to have a good costume for Halloween around here since it’s such a big deal to OU kids.”

Uptown Costumes is everybody’s go-to for HallOUween necessities and last minute fixings, like fishnet stockings, funky sunglasses, and colorful wigs. Not only does Uptown Costumes offer a wide array of accessories, but it’s most definitely the most affordable place to shop in Athens in regards to costumes. “I love this place. I’m here almost every week in October looking for something else to add to my Halloween costume. I don’t have to worry about breaking the bank either,” says Molly McIlvain, a junior studying health administration. According to its Facebook page, Uptown Costumes has extended its hours for Halloween.

Located on the second floor in the same building is an extension of Uptown Costumes, which is Ohio University students’ favorite thrift store. Unlike Uptown Costumes itself, the thrift store is not for those looking to spend little on a costume. However, this thrift store offers clothing, hats, shoes, and accessories from decades past that will surely make any costume one to remember. “My freshman year, I found a gorgeous go-go girl dress here that I completely fell in love with,” said Molly, “To this day, it has been my favorite costume I’ve ever worn.”

Athens Underground, located on the corner of Court Street and West Stimson Avenue, is another thrift store many Bobcats turn to for Halloween costumes. Athens Underground offers a wider selection of vintage clothing and accessories than does Uptown Costume’s respective thrift store, but it’s a little pricier. Athens Underground is the place to go for those looking to put together a realistic and high quality Halloween Costume. “I come here for both Halloween and The Rocky Horror Picture Show every year. I like it because in addition to all the costume-y pieces, they have clothes I can wear day to day,” said Madison Capitano, a junior studying journalism and philosophy.

Aside from the costume shops and thrift stores located on Court Street, Athens has other places to look to for Halloween costumes. Halloween City, a Halloween costume chain, is located on E. State, as is Walmart and Goodwill.