I write this with a heavy heart. To think about the places that fostered so many friendships and some of my fondest memories at college no longer exist is actually pretty depressing. But instead of being sad, let's remember and cherish these small-town establishments that played such an important role in my time at Murray State. I'm sure many of you feel the same way.
So, Mary's technically still exists, but it's not the same! Mary's moved from their legendary spot behind Zaxby's to the court square, shutting down their late hours and attempting to class up the joint with the title "bistro." As I remember, it was the place to go in the wee hours of the night for some pancakes, smothered breakfast, or the infamous rolls with strawberry butter. You were almost guaranteed to run into everyone at this shoebox-sized restauraunt, even if it was 4 a.m. on a Wednesday.
Two words: CHICKEN. NACHOS. If you weren't feeling Mary's in the middle of the night, you had another option until 3 a.m. The best part? They delivered! However, it was one of those meals that only tasted good with alcohol in your system. Wouldn't recommend eating sober, trust me. I'm still extremely bitter they closed, but at least Agave now occupies their former location.
El Mariachi Loco
Before Mr. J's, this was the place everyone congregated on Thursday nights. A huge outdoor patio, a raging dance floor, and cheap drinks—what more could you ask for? Unfortunately, it was a giant underage hot spot (hence the closing.) I have to admit, my heart sank when I saw that hideous, colorful building bulldozed to the ground.
Once upon a time, you had to drive outside the Murray city limits to purchase packaged liquor and beer. This is when you called your 21 and up friends, piled in a car, and took a trip "down south" to Mac's. However, after Calloway County ruled in favor of their college youths to go "wet" in 2012, the 30-minute booze cruise was no longer necessary and neither was Mac's overpriced business.
Vitello's "The Olive"
The first place I ever experienced night life in Murray. You only had to be 18 to get in, but they watched you like a hawk to see if you took a sip of alcohol. If you got caught, they photocopied your ID, hung it on the wall of shame, and you were banned for a month. Nevertheless, it used to be a prime place to hang out due to its proximity to campus and lively porch. It was also an ideal location to drink, listen, and watch the quad during All Campus Sing. Today, the building has received a much-needed face-lift and is now the home of Tap 216.
The Night Owl
When you were looking to have the most random night out in Murray, Kentucky, you could stroll a few steps off campus to this little hookah joint. However, I mostly enjoyed The Night Owl for their dance floor. Low key and the best dance floor in the entire town, just not enough people knew about this hidden gem. Also, the fact that they didn't or couldn't sell alcohol was a major buzzkill.
The Old Phi Tau House
The home of my favorite memories freshman year, right next door to AGR. It was the place for epic parties between Phi Tau and Pike every weekend. Yes, you heard that right. They even had TFM-worthy theme names like Frat-tastic Friday and Sloppy Saturday. And of course, the night wasn't complete without a performance by Trubz N' Matlock in the Annex. What is this house now? I think it's home to some random businesses or a real estate office. I could be wrong, but it's definitely not a place to #PartyTilTheBusComes anymore.