Closed for business: a sign of the times

Photo by Charlotte Cudd
The now abandoned Allison’s on Anastasia closed almost without warning

With local business closures this summer, Flagler students find new fun

By Nick Massie

As Flagler gets back into full swing, many of the returning students are wondering what happened to some of the city’s most popular spots over the summer break.

At the end of last semester, St. Augustine was full of activities, giving the students something to do pretty much every night. From Backstreets Coffee House to the Spicetopia Hookah Lounge to Allison’s on Anastasia Boulevard, there was something to do at all times.

Many remember flocking to Allison’s every Monday night to dance their hearts out to the smooth sounds of the local reggae group Soulo. Offering drink specials for those of age, and a cheap cover charge of $5, Allison’s was the happening place to be.

But at the end of April, the building became abandoned, missing all of the tables and masses of people that used to be a mainstay on the front patio.

Backstreet’s Coffee House was the spot where students used to go to study over a cup of coffee and listen to the fun indie music. They used to also run an amateur poetry night and have various themed parties.

Toward the end of last semester, Backstreet’s sold and the former fun coffee house turned into a private club. With the purchase of a liquor license, Backstreet’s turned into the private club that it is now. Almost like an Elk’s Club for hippies, the Fraternal Order of the Orieoles only allows members age 21+ and has plenty of parking for the tall bikers of St. Auggie.

Many will also remember the two hookah lounges that were around downtown. Spicetopia Hookah Lounge closed its doors in early May, leaving those who enjoyed the smooth smoke grasping for air. The other hookah lounge, Hookah Nights on King Street, switched owners several times and the business never recuperated.

Spicetopia Tea Shop has moved to the Spanish Plaza (the old Faraway Places) on St. George Street. They offer a variety of brewed teas (both iced and hot), along with coffees, Cheesecake Factory desserts, Hagaan Daas ice cream, etc. You can enjoy all of these delightful treats in the fabulous courtyard or the comfy couches that are offered. They also have free wireless Internet for your studying needs.

Rockin’ Bean Coffee House, located on the corner of Hypolita & Charlotte Streets, offers a calming place to enjoy a sophisticated java. And now they offer more room to sit with and a variety of brewed drinks.

For those that love to dance, Monday Night Marathon at Club Fusion on U.S. 1 North has a wild dance party with tons of drink specials and a low priced cover charge. Blasting a variety of indie music with a mix of classic oldies, Club Fusion has gone out of its way to please the college population.

A little side note — there is a different theme each week, so look it up, get decked out in you hottest costume, and go wild on Marathon Mondays.

Continuing from last semester, All-Stars Sports Bar on Spanish Street still offers karaoke each Monday and Tuesday night. Tuesday nights, on top of the karaoke, All-Stars also offers drink specials for the legal upper class, from 9-11:30 p.m. This is definitely a good place to go sing with your friends and let loose on the mic.

Stogies Jazz & Blues Bar on Charlotte Street is a 21+ bar that offers cigars and drinks over live jazz and blues music.

Despite Flagler’s current policy on college-sponsored off campus events, the college does not permit any school affiliated organization to throw any off campus events at any location.

All new students have missed out on great events such as the Toga party and the Graffiti parties thrown at Panama Hatties last year by the now defunct PR club.

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