Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

You Run When You’re 21


Figuring out where to go for your 21- run can be difficult, especially because we’re assuming here that you haven’t gone out before the legal age (of course you haven’t!) This weekend, I turned 21, and I took it upon myself to perform a public service and educate the good people of Seattle University on where to go for their first night of legal transgressions.


Cha Cha Lounge: Cha Cha Lounge is a great place to start the night. First of all, there is no cover charge, which I quickly learned is a rare jewel among Capitol Hill hot spots. Also, it is a little more intimate, so hitting this spot early in the night when you’re not too intoxicated is great for actually speaking to all the friends you’ve dragged along for emotional (and later in the night—physical) support. The night I went, they had delicious margaritas for seven dollars, which I would highly recommend. The only downsides to the spot were that they played aggressive and out-of-place music and the bouncer was incredibly condescending. But this bar is still a fun place to start off with a margarita or two!

R Place: R Place was by far my favorite place to visit. The cover fee for this club is ten dollars on a Friday night, but the bouncers at the door let me go in for free for my birthday. If you’re looking for a place to dance the night away—this is it. The drinks are strong, and there are three floors, with each floor having a sort of different vibe, the first two levels are definitely quieter than the third. On the third floor, we caught the last bit of a drag show, and the atmosphere was fun and positive. We danced here for hours, and I was made a special drink by the bartender (hint: tell them it’s your birthday). This is my top recommendation for a great 21-run!

Neighbours: If you’re looking for more dancing options, Neighbours is another dance club on Capitol Hill. To be honest, the cover fee is as much as R Place’s, and the atmosphere isn’t as fun. But if you’re looking for something in close proximity to street meat and other clubs, this may be a good place to try out!

The Chieftain and Rhein Haus:

I made a conscious decision not to go to the Chieftain and Rhein Haus the night of my 21st. This doesn’t have as much to do with the establishments themselves and more to do with the fact that every Seattle U student ever will be there on a Friday night. That being said, don’t let that stop you! If it excites you that you will probably see everyone from your best friend to that one lab partner you once had, go for it! I had friends visiting from out of town, so I decided to head a little south of the Seattle U bar scene. A positive thing about going to the Chieftain or Rhein Haus early in the night is that you may recruit some vaguely familiar but super excited acquaintances that could tag along for the remainder of the bar crawl.

Unicorn: Walking around Capitol Hill before being legally allowed to drink often meant looking longingly over my shoulder at Unicorn, located on 12th and Pike. Before being ‘of age’,I also knew that the establishment was responsible for the numerous pictures of people wearing glittering unicorn helmets on my Instagram feed and some frisky-named drinks. Unfortunately, my night didn’t lead me to the carnival-themed bar, as I couldn’t quite pull myself away from R Place. But if I could go back and wear that bedazzled unicorn helmet, I would in a heartbeat, so please, stop at Unicorn and strap on a unicorn horn for me.

Your 21st birthday is all about you! Go out, be safe and have fun! Try some new spots because you may be surprised with the atmosphere once you get inside. This list is just a starting point—go wherever the night (and the drunchies) takes you. Also mention everywhere you go that it’s your 21st, those finally legal perks only come once in a lifetime!

Tess may be reached at
[email protected]

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