Recently, I got into a conversation with a guy about the ever popular "Ladies' Night." He said that ladies' night was sexist because girls get in free, and at some places, even get their favorite drinks half price. But guys not only have to pay to get in, their drinks are full price, and if they are interested in a girl, he’ll pay for her, too. I’m not bashing the ladies' night traditions, or chivalry for that matter, but he does make a point. Other than when a guy wants to pick up a date, what’s out there to inspire him to go out on an evening especially marketed toward women?
While there are places that appeal more to guys than girls, like The Men’s Club or Uptown Cabaret, what about the guys who want to do more than look at naked women (they exist ladies, I swear). If bars and clubs were to create a guys' night ... what would that be like?
I instantly think poker or pool night. I know a lot of guys who have a love for both games, and it’s something where guys can sit back, drink a beer, and do something that most men love to do — compete. And as for the perks, well, why not go for half price or free games for one evening. Clubs could even hold a mini tournament, and let the top three competitors win a free game tab. If nothing else, why not remove the cover charge for everyone. After all, that’s what the guy I was talking with wanted.
However, I’m not a guy, so I did get a few perspectives from the owners of nightspots on why ladies' night has been more of a reoccurring trend, and what a guys' night would be like if they made one.
James Meyers, the AGM of Strike City, said Strike and the City (their version of ladies' night) was born from their old weekly special. “Well, it was already established on Thursday night for us. We just wanted to refresh it and come up with something new and fun,” he commented. And while it is ladies' night, Meyers said you’ll even find guys at Strike and the City, too. “It creates a good mix of people all in one place enjoying themselves,” he added.
As for his version of a guys' night, Meyers replied it would cater to a multitude of things that interests guys, like sports, electronics, gadgets or gaming systems. “Stuff that would be interactive, and we’d tailor the night with featured beers, whiskeys, bourbons, or scotches. We’d also have sponsor companies come in and donate some giveaways or exhibits on the latest and greatest products they have available,” he suggested.
For Cory Himelberger, the general manager at Howl at the Moon, drink specials are the way to make a guy’s night. “We’d run specials specific to men. You know whiskey, Budweiser, or something like that.” he stated. But as far as ladies' night at Howl at the Moon goes ... well, it’s on its way out. "It was a promotion held across the country,” he replied. “Florida has specials where ladies are free, and ladies only, but here you can’t really give gender specific specials. It hasn’t worked.”
Unlike Strike City or Howl at the Moon, at Connolly’s, there’s no focus on a men’s or ladies' night. “Our primary interest is just the recreation of an Irish pub,” said Jimmy, a manager at Connolly’s. He explained that Connolly’s is the place for everyone to hang out and get that neighborhood bar feel. “A place where you can experience the gift of gab,” he said.
From speaking with folks at these different nightspots, it seems that, unless it’s ladies' night (thriving or on the way out), there’s no other gender specific night on the calendar for now.
And I think when it comes down to it, that’s because ladies are more eager to go out dancing at a club than men are. I think Dane Cook said it best, “You never hear a guy say to one of his buddies, 'hey listen, Mike, Michael, tonight dude, I gotta dance.'” And since not all guys are dancers, that’s one of the reasons us girls should share the luxury and let the guys get a little action, too ... the free admission action that is. And ladies, there’s a perk in that for us, too. A room full of men? Now that’s catering to the ladies.