It’s Thirsty Thursday yet again in Madison (it seems like this happens every week). As cares about Friday’s classes fade away, many students begin to contemplate where “the move” is for their gang.
Perhaps the most important factor in this decision is how much money is required to get a sufficient amount of drinks. Fortunately, Thursday nights provide the best drink specials universally, with almost every bar offering a different cheap specialty for the evening.
If your squad is struggling to decide which spots to hit tonight, here’s a definitive ranking of the best Thirsty Thursday specials around campus.
5. Wando’s Bar and Grill: $7 Fishbowl pitchers
Wando’s holds a monopoly of a sorts on the “fishbowl” in Madison, a drink known for its tropical colors and flavors and its ubiquitous use of a fishbowl as its serving vessel. While the actual fishbowl is substituted out on Thursday nights for a more carrying-friendly pitcher, its 70 percent price reduction on Thursdays is enough to give it a try. Splitting the drink is a perfect way to kick off a night out with friends, yet otherwise limited specials and a sometimes less than stellar atmosphere usually necessitate a bar hop after the pitcher is finished.
4. Sconnie Bar: $1 domestic taps, $2 mystery shots, $3 double rails/mixers, $3 bomb shots, $5 pizzas
While none of the specials particularly stand out at Sconnie Bar, the mixture of every special makes it worth the journey to the southwest side of the campus area. For the indecisive group, Sconnie Bar provides plenty of choices to party on Thursday your way.
3. The Double U: $5 Night
A difficult-to-explain, yet economical night is found at The Double U. Patrons pay $5 for a ticket and receive a top shelf mixer as their first drink. From there, rail mixers are only $1 and free pizza is served prior to midnight to quench any snack needs. While the spacious bar might be too large and confusing for many, the economics of this decision just make sense.
2. Plaza Tavern: $2.50 Long Islands, $5 for a double
Plaza-goers may only purchase one drink during their night at the long-time Madison establishment, but that’s more than enough to economically justify their decision. While initially a higher fee to swallow, the potency of the drink makes it more plausible that any following order will be water, making your wallet and liver rejoice. The neighborhood atmosphere adds additional value to the hang-out spot, with pinball machines and foosball tables awaiting friendly competition.
1. Whiskey Jack’s Saloon: 25 cent rail mixers 9-10 p.m., 50 cent rail mixers 10-11 p.m., $1 rail mixers 11 p.m.-12 a.m.
There comes a point where bar specials move beyond a marketing art and turn into a highly calculated science. The Thursday night special at Whiskey Jack’s Saloon follows an incremental approach as the night wanes on, more than justifying the often long lines to get in on Thursdays. With rail mixers staying $1 or below until midnight, “Whiskey’s” is the most economical choice on a Thursday. Given the draw of the special, it is also quite likely to encounter similarly frugal classmates and friends alike, increasing the fun of this Thirsty Thursday spot.