Keg Week 2013: The Eulogy
One week ago Sunday, The Keg of Evanston closed its doors for the very last time. Tonight we conclude our Keg Week 2013 with what may--for better or worse--be the very last article we ever post about TKOE.
At this point, more words have been spilled over that shit-hole Evanston bar than Bud Light out of a big cup. Don't worry, this epitaph will be about as brief as a dance floor hookup, and hopefully a shade less awkward.
Think of all the geographic locations pertaining to Northwestern. The Arch. The Rock. The Frat Quad. The Black House. Willard. Searle Hall. The Lakefill. Tech. Norris. Ryan Field. The Steam Tunnels. Deering. CVS. The Howard El Stop. That One Bench You Totally Made Out On With Your PA.
All these locations and others like them held significance far beyond their spatial positioning. These places are where memories are forged and perceptions of the institution we're bound to are altered. While not every subset of the Northwestern student body had substantive relationships, if any, with all of these spaces, each and every location around campus is inextricable from the complex experience of life at the university.
But of all the places listed above, no physical space had more out-sized of a sway over the Northwestern experience than The Keg.
The Keg was a joke. But everybody got it.
A student could go his or her entire time on campus without ever hopping that fence and still have a pretty good idea about what The Keg was about. A bar that literally only had a substantial amount of patrons two nights of the week, nine months of the year, somehow became a defining location within our cultural imagination of what it meant to be a student here. How many other places at Northwestern is that true for?
I spend an average of four to five days a week in the library, and here I am getting sentimental over a place that frequently dealt with urine overflow. Last time I checked, I didn't have to be eight drinks deep to set foot in the stacks.
We like to talk about whether there is an inclusive community at Northwestern. The Keg was not inclusive of everybody (especially not those over the age of 22 or with any developed taste in beer). But I believe it was the closest NU got to an inclusive space for the student body.
The Keg meant a lot of things to a lot of different students, and only a place big enough for two strippers poles could house that many contradictions. The Keg was a place where both the Greek and non-Greek community could all come together and get heinous while at the same maintaining our social differences, from the way we pre-gamed to the music we twerked to. The Keg let nearly everyone in, regardless of age, race, creed, class, or photo on their ETHS student ID. The Keg was home to some of the fondest memories of generations of Northwestern students, and also some of the haziest.
The Keg was a symbol of the tensions between Northwestern University and the outlying community of Evanston, and ultimately its worst victim.
Rest in peace, The Keg of Evanston. Shitty college bars never die. They just lose their liquor license to puritanical self-aggrandizing municipal governments.