The art of “Getting Jolly”

Mel Sayre Editor-in-Chief

While many colleges in the world will designate bars as being the “go to” area – passed down from one student to another – not many can claim, like Case Western Reserve University does, the grand luxury of having a hotspot bar in the dead center of campus. And when I say that, I mean that it’s sitting right below the space where all freshmen are welcomed to CWRU in the student center. Say what? There were people celebrating just underneath us during our initiation into this masochist jail? The answer: most likely.

The Scholar is a lot of things. To many, both in the CWRU community and outside of it, it is a bar where the bartenders are friendly and always ready for a good conversation. The drinks are always well priced (enough so that every once in a while its frequenters feel like we’re edging up to committing highway robbery). There are 24 taps, constantly changed up to bring some spice into our lives, and the mixed drinks are made on the double. In terms of food, while the Scholar’s hasn’t always been the best, in the past few years the Jolly Man has picked up the slack and have collected a spattering of awards from this place and that. The menu could be considered almost overwhelming if you’re looking at it for the first time – but hey, no one really knows what their usual will be a month down the road, so pointing to something and choosing generally works.

The service can be considered both good and bad. The waiters and waitresses are mostly students. If you’re sitting down at a booth, the reality is you could wait an hour with mediocre service or get someone amazing and wait a few minutes. However, at the bar, there is a consistently high standard; you’re taken care of regardless if it’s night or day and, even if you’re the most insignificant person in the world, they’ll make you feel like you’re someone.

But it’s not just a bar and a restaurant. It’s a hangout. It’s occasionally a workspace when that senior needs a beer with his or her thesis. It’s a safe haven after a terrible test. But it’s not just for the elderly folk with drinking licenses either – the new blood on campus more often than not find themselves running away from Leutner and Fribbles once a week to experience real food again. This is the place where all that meets.

That said, The Jolly Scholar has been a hotspot for quite some time. In fact, drinking there on a Thursday night would probably be considered, by some, to be the traditional 21st rite of passage.

While there are still some obvious flaws (Mr. Jolly Man, Wackadoos is still claiming ownership of your receipts – you should get them back), it’s a charming place and one of the better spots on campus to be in and around. We can be who we want to be in The Jolly Scholar, and, for that, I couldn’t be happier.

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