Monday marked last call for The Clybourne, Firehaus

Monday marked last call for The Clybourne, Firehaus

For Theodore Al-Hazza, The Clybourne was a new place to explore when he set foot inside the campus bar.

Of course, he was too small to go to the bar during its crowded weekend nights, when the dance floor was packed and the music was thumping — so small he might find himself under the shoe of one of those dancers.

The toy Pomeranian, though, became a symbol of the bar during the time that his owner, Latifah Al-Hazza, went to school at the UI from 2010-14.

"They basically named him Cly's mascot while I was there," she said.

For Latifah, The Clybourne was different in that way.

"I feel like they were less fratty and more welcoming," she said. "I guess I felt like they were more diverse, both with the music selection as well as the people that were there, you could say. I'm not from Illinois, I'm from Virginia, and I felt Cly's was the same vibe as on the East coast."

It's why she frequented the bar several times each week, whether it was to partake in Wine Night or just to pop in and talk to a friend while Theodore had run of the place.

When she returns to campus, The Clybourne and neighboring Firehaus will no longer be in operation, at least not in their familiar location.

Monday was last call for the bars, set to be replaced by a high-rise.

In The Clybourne, Melissa Chataigne also found a familial atmosphere. The current Los Angeles stylist worked there from her sophomore to her senior year. After briefly joining a sorority, she deactivated, but most of the companionship she needed from her classmates was found at that bar.

And with their manicured bars and ornate floors, The Clybourne and Firehaus offered something different from all other campus bars.

"I just loved the ambience of it," Chataigne said. "It was nice, it was elegant compared to some of the other more low-key college bars. It was where I took my parents. They were worried with me working at the bar at first — I come from a very conservative Haitian-American family.

"But they were like, 'Oh, this is not as bad as I expected.' It was definitely one of the nicest places on campus.'

The pulse of the music flowed out of Firehaus' large open windows onto Sixth Street on Thursday for one of the last times, mixing with the more muted tones of Clybourne, which is not open-air like its Scott Cochrane-owned counterpart. Students who filed into the short, rapidly moving line around 11:30 p.m. at The Clybourne, weren't quite as sentimental as Al-Hazza and Chataigne. Not that they aren't upset about the closure.

To the common student, it seemed, the practical nature of the bars' closure was at the top of mind.

"It's really uncalled for, and it's really going to ruin this university, because we're really known from the bars," said a female patron who wished not to be named in a statement that may have been exaggerated by the night's previous activities.

"The other bars literally have been thinking they can raise the cover," her friend said.

Much of the traffic, multiple students said, will likely flow to the nearby Red Lion, where the line wra-pped around the block on Thursday, or maybe Kam's, the university's iconic bar.

For Chataigne and Theodore and Latifah Al-Hazza, a favorite bar can mean a little bit more. And as of early this morning, a reminder of their quintessential college experience will be wiped away.

"I haven't been back since (graduation), but I wish I did," Al-Hazza said. "I'm kind of sad I didn't pop back in with my roommates. I spent like all my time there, which sounds horrible — I was a good student. But yeah, it was a lot of fun."

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