Bowdoin’s list of 50 things to do before you graduate holds age-old challenges for students to accomplish before leaving Brunswick. One of these traditions on the Orient’s list is simply stated as “Tuesday at Joshua’s.”
“Joshua’s senior night on Tuesdays is an underground tradition,” said Dani Chediak ’13, Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill Entertainment Manager.
Tuesday senior nights began at Player’s, currently known as Pedro O’Hara’s. Fraternities, namely the hockey fraternity Beta Theta Phi, congregated at Player’s while Joshua’s was still then in its early days.
T.J. Siatras, owner of Joshua’s, said, “We opened up, and we almost immediately became the other college bar.”
Player’s eventually went out of business, and Joshua’s emerged as the new home for senior night. The tradition has continued since, and it still attracts a consistent group of regulars.
Many of these regulars join The Mug Club: a loyalty rewards program in which patrons lease a mug for the year for $50 and get discounted prices for beverages.
Siatras describes it as “a way that we give back to the people that make this their choice of where they’d like to come socialize.”
While not all seniors who attend make the commitment of joining the club, several frequently attend.
“There’s a cult following of people who are going,” Chediak said.
Simon Bordwin ’13 often participates in this Bowdoin tradition, going to Joshua’s with friends from his house or a cappella group.
“There’s always a contingent of bros, and one of the off-campus houses will be represented,” he said.
The number of students going out to senior night recently has been high, which Siatra thinks is due to smaller workloads at the beginning of the semester.
Siatras said, “We always have found that when [seniors] come back from winter break there’s a big Tuesday, because they don’t have any homework. Tuesday before spring break is also a big night.”
The number of seniors who show up during the fall is typically lower than in the spring. Siatras estimates that about 40 to 80 seniors might show up on an autumn Tuesday, while the spring boasts better attendance. However, this year’s senior nights have not been quite as well attended as those in the past.
“This year’s senior class is maybe a little tamer than some of the past classes,” he said. “As of yet, we haven’t seen a level of senior participation that we have in the past.”
The Senior Class Council sponsors senior nights in Brunswick and Portland. These sponsored senior nights at venues like My Tie Lounge are typically more crowded. Tuesday nights at Joshua’s offer a mellower experience.
“It’s a really chill place to hang out with your friends instead of a place where people really want to party,” said Bordwin.
“If you’re just at Joshua’s it’s kind of a faux pas to get too drunk, unless it’s your 21st birthday.”
“It’s a good change of pace because it’s different from a house party,” Jay Spry ’13 said.
“You just talk, hang out, and get some appetizers with your friends. A lot of kids like to play pool, too.”
The tradition is also an opportunity to reconnect with old roommates, classmates, and pre-orientation friends. Mike Lachance ’13 said that the best part of senior night is “seeing people from different groups in our class. It’s sometimes hard to maintain relations with everyone at Bowdoin because everyone is so busy.”
The beginning of the seniors’ last semester has encouraged many more to journey to Joshua’s. “We’re realizing that it’s senior year and Bowdoin’s about to end. We’re taking advantage of every opportunity to hang out together, but once work starts up again, that definitely comes first,” said Lachance.