He Said, She Said; Avenue Pizza
He Said: Avenue Pizza will be missed!
Faiz-Ali Virji (2L)
I received some shocking news upon my return to law school: Avenue Pizza closed down. Now, if you are a 1L or anyone not in law school, you probably aren’t too concerned about that. But, for those of us who have had the privilege, nay, the honour of attending a Thursday night “Ave” session, this is a terrible, soul-crushing loss.
So what exactly was so good about Ave? Well the obvious answer is that it was the place to be if you were a law student – every Thursday you knew that is where all your friends would be celebrating the end of the week (for the first semester of 1L…well actually whatever semester and year). Many a friendship began and blossomed at Ave.
“But Faiz, couldn’t that happen at any bar we all go to?” Possibly. But there was an aura surrounding Ave that made it special. Maybe it’s the fact that the bartenders were “like family” (Adeel Mulla, 3L) that made it feel so welcoming. Maybe it’s the fact that you didn’t actually have to show your ID to get in. Maybe it’s the fact that you could play quarters without worry. Regardless, there was a feeling of being home there on Thursday nights. As well, unlike some other bars, the music isn’t too loud that carrying out a conversation doesn’t resort to a shouting match in each other’s ears.
Speaking of music, the biggest thing that we will all miss about Ave, bar none, is the karaoke. Before entering law school, I don’t think I had ever sung karaoke. That all changed with Ave. There wasn’t a night I wasn’t up front with the mic spitting out “Forgot about Dre” or some other rap. And then there are the people who are actually talented to help balance out the night. Like when Praveen Alwis (2L) would bust out a rap right after me and show me up. That was cool. Jerk.
But seriously, ask anyone of his or her fondest memories of Ave, and you are more than likely to hear a story regarding the song someone sang that one night. Like when white 2L rapper “Riles G” rapped “Colt 45” by Afroman and literally shut up the entire bar because no one could believe he was actually singing that.
No matter if there were a hundred law students or twenty, an Ave night was always a guarantee to be a good night. Sure there will be other bars that we will frequent on Thursday nights, but there will always be a special place in this nostalgic law student’s heart for Ave.
She Said: Good Riddance!
Lisa Martens (3L)
As we mourn the loss of an institution that has single handedly dropped the grade point average of our great faculty, one can’t help but ask, was Ave really that great?
I’ll never forget my first Ave night, walking up to the plate glass windows, wondering why several of the patrons appeared to be homeless; I was filled with a sense of wonder and to be perfectly honest, fear. With more than a little liquid courage behind me, I entered the infamous bar. Unfortunately, what I hadn’t been told was if you showed up before 11pm, instead of law students, you would come face to face with a bunch of rowdy show-tune singing fine arts students. Enough said.
As the law students eventually made their way into the building which boasted barely functioning bathrooms and wood paneled walls, the real Ave night began. Students could be seen mingling around the over-crowded bar, bragging loudly about their GPA’s or articles with big Calgary firms. If you were lucky enough, you might just get a one-on-one chat/ass-grab combo with a nice 3L boy, happy to share his CANS.
To Ave’s credit, true friendships were formed, as care free students bonded while singing along to “Empire State of Mind,” or “Goodbye Earl.” After a few gladiator shots, more than a few students could be seen cuddling up in the dimly lit corners, only to awkwardly have to face their new “friends” the next day around the couches. Even worse, on occasion these new friends were in fact old friends who you might just get to enjoy class with for the rest of the semester.
As everyone knows, reputation in the legal profession is everything. Ave took shots at reputations in more than a few ways. None however were quite as scaring as its ability to take a beautiful young lady and turn her into a junior-bacon-cheeseburger loving monster. An institution which will experience a serious slump in Thursday night sales thanks to Ave’s closing will be the local Wendy’s/Tim Horton’s combo. My arteries and my waistline however are ecstatic.
Last but not least the dreaded Ave hangover. While upper years are able to select their schedule around this beast, at least 2/3 of the 1L class enter winter semester with an 8am lecture. While it might seem worth it when you see Law School alums still gracing Ave with their presence years after graduation (cough Jay White cough), the reality is, these hangovers and their corresponding grades are a haunting reminder on your transcripts for years to come.
While we might miss the camaraderie that came with this beloved hangout, when you break it down it becomes pretty clear, Ave just wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. It can take its place with the “Library” and the “Book Cellar” in law school obscurity, as we usher in a new and hopefully slightly less shameful year. And honestly, how can you really miss a night that you probably wouldn’t end up remembering anyways?