Party Scene

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Party Scene


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5 College Freshman

Party Scene: The party scene at the eating clubs is great compared to other Ivy League schools.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Party Scene: I have not been to much parties but from what I know the party scene could be better and its not my style because there is lots of alcohol.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Party Scene: Not too bad. Its not as happening as a big 10 school.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: There aren't offcampus clubs to go to. It's the Street or a dorm party. The Street is not all that fun to me personally because it's the same 11 clubs (not all of them are open to everyone), and they don't all play the kind of music I want to dance to. My distaste for the Street could just be that I don't know many people whenever I go inside.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Party Scene: There are lots of parties on Thursday and Saturday nights, mainly at the Eating Clubs.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Princeton hardly has a dozen of social options available, but between the Street, room parties, the bars of Nassau Street, and convenient transportation to both New York and Philadelphia, options exist. While the average night out at Princeton's clubs and bars tends to be quite average, signature, legendary Princeton "holidays," such as Newman's Day and Dean's Date, which encourage late nights out, more than make up for a somewhat monotonous social scene. Annual special events hosted by the eating clubs, including Houseparties and Winter Formals, provide a nice break from just going out.

For most students, the Street gets old by the end of sophomore year. They have bickered or signed in or gone independent and start looking for more options. Fortunately, by the end of sophomore year, most students are on the brink of 21 and can start going to Princeton's bars, which will keep them entertained for a few more weeks. By junior year, Princeton students begin to immerse themselves in their independent work, so visiting the Street becomes somewhat of a privilege, as the increasingly rigorous academic work does not allow students to spend too much time out and about junior and senior years. Despite the proximity of New York and Philadelphia, public transportation is somewhat inflexible, as the last train on a Saturday night leaves New York Penn Station around 1 a.m., leaving students stranded in Princeton Junction unless they are willing to pay the hefty late night cab fare.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
The Street (Prospect Avenue)
Student Favorites
  • The Annex Restaurant
  • Cap and Gown Club
  • Colonial Club
  • Cottage Club
  • Tiger Inn
  • Tower Club
  • Triumph Brewing Company
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Beirut
  • Flip cup
  • Quarters
Closing Time
12 a.m.-2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Anywhere on the Street
Organization Parties
Most student groups and athletic teams have parties during the academic year. These parties are primarily closed and used to recruit more members or bond with the existing ones. A Chinese restaurant called Good Friends in the adjacent Princeton Junction is a popular venue for such parties, as the alternative venues are rented eating clubs and campus suites.
Did You Know?
One of the questions most frequently posed to Princeton students is: "What is an eating club?" Contrary to popular belief, an eating club is not Princeton's answer to student country clubs. Today, Princeton's eating clubs are a collection of ten clubhouses, most of which line Prospect Street. They provide upperclassmen with a place to eat and socialize. Originally, nineteenth century eating clubs sprouted up to provide upperclassmen with eating options other than the then-atrocious University dining facilities.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Quadrangle Club (1901)

Type: Sign-In. Constantly seeking alternatives to DJs, Quad tends to favor live bands, including Lifehouse, as well as some local bands.

33 Prospect Ave.


(609) 258-0375

Ivy Club (1879)

Type: Bicker. Ivy has always had the reputation for being the stomping grounds of Princeton's social aristocracy. While it is the only eating club whose members are served dinner on a nightly basis, using tablecloths nonetheless, its events are generally open to all students. Popular events include the annual T.I.-Ivy Olympics.

43 Prospect Ave.

(609) 924-2236

Terrace Club (1904)

Type: Sign-In. Terrace provides an alternative environment to the other eating clubs. Not only is it the only club not located along Prospect, but it is the only club that permits cigarette smoking in the dining room. The tap room is painted black, and members tend to be a bit more artsy than the average Princeton student.

62 Washington Rd.


(609) 258-1380

Tower Club (1902)

Type: Bicker. Tower is home to the majority of the campus politicians and thespians as well as some of the best desserts on the Street. The deck in the backyard allows Tower to throw parties almost every night during Freshman Week before most clubs are open. Members can elect to pay dues based on how much alcohol they consume. Those who claim to be "heavy drinkers" often can be found playing on one of the several Beirut tables in the tap room.

13 Prospect Ave.


(609) 924-0473

Tiger Inn (1890)

Type: Bicker. Tiger Inn, or T.I., is the closest thing Princeton has to Animal House. Drawing from some of the more notoriously rowdy athletic teams, such as the men's lacrosse and wrestling teams, and Greek organizations, T.I. is the best place for late night partying. Many legends surround the T.I. cuisine, usually noting how members chose to eat hot dogs for a month rather than to go without Beast for the last month of school.

48 Prospect Ave.


(609) 924-0255

Charter Club (1901)

Type: Sign-In. Charter used to be home to the majority of the University's engineers because of its proximity to the E-Quad, but its weekly pub nights and quality food have enabled the membership to expand. Charter members favor live bands to weekly DJs, and recent acts have included American Hi-Fi.

79 Prospect Ave.

(609) 924-2433

Cap & Gown Club (1890)

Type: Bicker. Cap & Gown Club (Cap) is generally the club athletes join-especially the track and field, softball, football, and field hockey teams-but it is starting to diversify to include more campus groups. Cap easily has the best salad bar on the Street (Prospect Avenue). Noted alumni include Dean Cain '88 and Brooke Shields '87.

61 Prospect Ave.

(609) 921-9795

Cloister Inn (1912)

Type: Sign-In. Also known as the "boaters and floaters" club, Cloister's hot tub and healthy cuisine draws students primarily from the crew and swim teams. Popular events include "Boaters vs. Floaters" races and competitions. Aside from the notorious Cloister hot tub, the outgoing officers brought in a mechanical bull to celebrate sign-ins week.

65 Prospect Ave.

(609) 258-1380

Cottage Club (1886)

Type: Bicker. Modeled as a combination of a country cottage and an urban clubhouse, Cottage has tried in recent years to receive historic site status because of its role in the literature of former member F. Scott Fitzgerald '17, who wrote sections of This Side of Paradise in Cottage's library, as well as its famous alumni, including former Senator Bill Bradley '65. Cottage's membership is primarily composed of student athletes as members of the Greek community.

51 Prospect Ave.

(609) 921-6137

Colonial Club (1891)

Type: Sign-In. After almost folding in 2000, Colonial Club was taken over by members of the Class of 2002 and has enjoyed a soaring membership in the past few years. Bragging weekly pub nights with homemade pizza and quesadillas, Colonial provides a combination of members-only events, such as an annual wine tasting, as well as open events, including a bevy of opportunities to see DJ Bob.

40 Prospect Ave.

(609) 924-0255

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

JB Winberie Restaurant & Bar

Winberie's is popular with local thirty-somethings at happy hour, but the bar is not a regular hang out for University undergrads. The bar is only a small component of Winberie's, which means that it gets crowded easily.

1 Palmer Sq.E.


(609) 921-0700

Triumph Brewing Company

While the beer and cocktails may be more expensive than what other bars in town have to offer, the atmosphere at Triumph is worth the cost. Whereas Winberie's is popular for young professionals in their 30s, local twenty-somethings flock to Triumph. The beer is made on-site, and the food is fantastic.

138 Nassau St.


(609) 924-7855

Yankee Doodle Tap Room

Most students will not go to the Yankee Doodle Tap Room during their undergraduate career, as it is mostly Nassau Inn patrons who go there. The cocktails are relatively expensive for a student budget, and it has the definite feel of a hotel bar.

10 Palmer Sq. E.


(609) 921-7500

The Annex Restaurant

Because of its proximity to Firestone Library, the Annex is popular with both students and faculty. The food and drinks are affordable, and the happy hour specials are difficult to pass. The Annex also hosts pub nights for the senior class each year.

128 1/2 Nassau St.


(609) 921-7555

Debasement Bar

D-Bar, in the basement of Pyne Tower, is a student-run, members-only bar for Graduate College students. One of the only non-profit bars in the country, the D-bar offers cheap drinks (everything is sold at cost), live music, DJs, and karaoke.

Pyne Hall

On campus

Ivy Inn

The Ivy Inn, not to be confused with the Ivy Club, is conveniently adjacent to Hoagie Haven. Featuring nightly specials, the Ivy Inn does not even pretend to have any class, and it is a good place to go as an alternative to the Street.

248 Nassau St.


(609) 921-8555

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Even if you are under 21, you can sometimes gain admission to Princeton's eating clubs, but they sometimes check IDs before serving alcohol. Princeton itself provides Blackbox Inc., a nightclub in the basement of Wilson college for students only. They throw theme parties and have live music, but serve only non-alcoholic drinks.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 19 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 25 responses

  • 4% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 68% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 12% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 8% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 8% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 16 responses

  • 62% Lawnparties
  • 38% Reunions! (but for current students, lawnparties)
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