Bars in Brunswick come and go, but over the years, only one has remained the go-to taproom for Bowdoin seniors on Tuesday nights: Joshua's Tavern on Maine Street.

For seniors, having a beer on Tuesday nights at Joshua's constitutes a seemingly age-old ritual unique to the culminating year of their time at Bowdoin. Like most traditions, these Tuesday night gatherings do not require Digest posts or Facebook events to accrue attendees; they just happen. But the majority of students may not know the history behind what has been one of the staples of the Bowdoin senior experience for almost 20 years.

"The Tuesday night tradition has been something that's been going on for as long as I can remember," said T.J. Siatras, one of the owners of the family-owned tavern.

In fact, the inception of senior night at Joshua's Tavern coincided with the then-pub's opening in 1990. Before then, Bowdoin seniors still went out on Tuesdays, but to a bar called Player's.

"It was just kind of a special blow-off-steam activity that seniors could go to and talk about or not talk about life after Bowdoin," Anita Randall '90 said.

When Player's went out of business, Joshua's was a natural replacement for Bowdoin students.

"When Player's closed down, we sort of inherited it," Siatras said. "It was the same location essentially, and students were already coming here."

Preceding Joshua's, the Siatras family ran a different kind of restaurant, but in 1990, they "redeveloped the concept, redirected the marketing, and focused on a much younger clientele and that's sort of where it came from," Siatras said.

Dan Sisk '94 remembered Joshua's as an ideal alternative for Bowdoin students because Siatras catered to the college crowd.

"Joshua's was just a good spot to go to," he said. "It was 100 percent college kids, or it was a much more mellow crowd [than frequented other Brunswick bars] that wasn't looking for trouble. It was easy to feel like you knew everyone in the joint."

But the Tuesday night experience was much different in the early 1990s than it is now.

"In the beginning, Joshua's was a very small pub," Siatras said. "Its occupancy was only 40, and I was the only bartender."

In addition, members of fraternities frequented the bar most regularly, and on Tuesday nights, Siatras offered students a special called "Group Therapy," which involved a pitcher of Natural Lite beer and a small carafe of Kamikaze shots for a reduced price, according to Sisk.

"If you didn't want to be in a fraternity basement, but you wanted a beer, Joshua's was the place to go," Sisk, a Kappa Sig member, said.

Liquor laws became stricter 15 years ago, which changed the drinking culture in Brunswick, according to Siatras.

"During the week we saw a lot more college students downtown than we do now," he said. "But we're not able to offer certain promotions to anyone any longer under liquor laws."

But Joshua's does offer certain drink specials to members of its Mug Club, a promotion for patrons who pay $40 for a personalized mug that grants them exclusive access to Mug Club specials. On Tuesday nights, Joshua's offers members its "Two for Tuesdays" special—$2 draught refills.

The Mug Club is part of the reason why Tuesday nights remain a strong tradition, according to Siatras.

"I think [Tuesdays] caught on stronger and stronger because a lot of the students have become members of the Mug Club here, and that's one of the better promotional nights," he said. "It worked for their schedule, and it worked for our promotion."

Cam Swirka '10, a current member, agrees that the Mug Club allows students "to save money. And it's kind of cool to be part of that bar social scene."

According to Swirka, camaraderie results from "clinking mugs together."

But Swirka doesn't often visit Joshua's on Tuesday nights. He prefers to go there on quieter evenings.

"It's too crowded [on Tuesdays] and kind of hard to get drinks." he said.

John Greene '07 agreed.

"It sometimes felt like a Magee's Pub on Maine Street," he said.

As an alternative, Greene and his friends began going to Cuddy's on Wednesdays instead.

"I wanted a spot where I could get away from Bowdoin people and feel like I was actually leaving the bubble," he said.

Greene also noted the animosity he felt existed between community members and Bowdoin students on Tuesday nights. According to Siatras, however, townspeople are not generally resentful of Bowdoin students, but choose not to go to Joshua's on Tuesday because of the crowded atmosphere.

"They avoid it really. Not because of Bowdoin, but because of the complicated, busy environment that they don't really come to Joshua's for. It's just different," he said.

While seniors have been congregating to Joshua's almost continually for the past 20 years, there was a brief period of about three years ending in 2007 when Bowdoin students boycotted Joshua's and went to Sea Dog Brewing Company because of a conflict between a student and a staff member in which a student would not relinquish his drink at closing time, according to Siatras.

But according to Greene, the shift was never permanent because Sea Dog "wasn't as fun. Not as many people went [out on Tuesdays]."

Seniors returned to Joshua's, and the tradition has remained popular with Joshua's staff and Bowdoin students ever since.

"It's a little more maintenance, but we certainly appreciate the business and we don't find it creates any conflicts or anything," Siatras said.

Perry Trethaway '10 said she enjoys senior night as well.

"It really breaks up the week because you can go out and socialize and sort of feel like it's the weekend," she said. "I think it's cool to see a lot of different kinds of people out who you wouldn't see otherwise."

Overall, the Joshua's tradition has remained a constant for seniors looking to relax midweek, no matter how much has changed at Bowdoin over the past 20 years.