Stagger Inn: you’ll truly be missed.
I remember when they announced Stagger would be opening. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
As a freshman back then, I was fed up with the bar scene at UCF the first month of my classes. Sure, Pub and Lib were a great time; in small doses. I didn’t miss a single Lib Liquor Pitcher Wednesday or a Lady’s Night at Pub that entire semester, but it was hard to go to either bar just to kick back and relax. Between sweaty 18-year-olds on the dancefloor and bartenders that were too swamped to even acknowledge your existence, Lib and Pub were tough places to chill with your friends. Other bars had attempted to create a more relaxed atmosphere (do any of you 5th years remember The Annex? yikes.), but they never came close to anything sustainable. You knew when you entered those doors that it was a fight to the death to get your drinks and then another fight to the death to make your way from the bar to the dancefloor.
But there was something different about Stag.
Sure, it got wild in there. Lord knows I’ve been plastered in Stagger when it’s been shoulder-to-shoulder packed while 15th and the 1st blares over the speakers as some poor soul spins the free drink wheel only to end up landing on tits and flashing the entire crowd.
Those times were good and fun, but what seperated Stag from Pub and Lib was its small conveniences.
What made Stag so great is that on most nights, there would be the perfect amount of people in the bar. I could usually grab a seat at the bar and have a bartender give me a dirt-cheap bud light tall boy whenever mine was approaching empty. There were enough people in there to keep things interesting, but not too many that it felt like you were breaking some undisplayed Fire Marshall’s capacity limit.
Stag was a little more low-key and laid back, which was desperately needed in the UCF bar scene.
Stagger also became the missing puzzle piece when it came to Pub’s Happy Hour. During that strange time between happy hour ending and the regular night hours beginning, most happy hour goers were left in an uncomfortable purgatory of being smashed but having no where to go.
With Stag, you could hit the Three-peat: go to Pub’s Happy Hour, walk over to Stag after it ends, then head back to Pub or walk to Lib for their regular hours. Stagger was the boozy oasis in the desert of being drunk all day Friday.
With the end of Stagger Inn UCF comes the end of an era. The bar scene here was forever altered by Stagger Inn, and with its departure, the scene has been altered once more. Happy Hours and casual Tuesday night Blackouts with the homies will never be the same. But more importantly, Stagger showed us that a more laid-back bar can thrive by UCF.
Stagger Inn, as their motto states, was not just a country bar. It was home.