The swarms of undergraduates that previously inhabited Johnny O's and Dino's — the two Collegetown bars that closed this summer — have shifted their dancing and imbibing to the Pixel Lounge, Cornell’s new party haven.
“Pixel seems like it [now] has the crowd that Dino’s used to. I go there because, apart from Level B, it’s as close to a club as you can get in Collegetown,” Nicholas Villano ’12 said.
Camille Velez ’13 said that Pixel “provides a good balance between bar and dance floor just like Dino’s and JO’s did.”
Sarah Schwartz ’13 agreed.
“[Pixel] is the only one with a really nice dance scene. You can’t really dance in the other bars,” she said.
Pixel has taken steps to adapt to its sudden surge of new customers, said Pixel co-manager Peter Failmezger.
“We started having more student DJs and student bartenders. Getting people to work with us started bringing in more people as well,” Failmezger said.
Additionally, the bar has opened its interior to increase dance floor space and has hired new bouncers.
“It’s all part of adapting to being more of a place that people want us to be. We’ve been clearing out the tables and stools,” he said. “There are only two places to dance in Collegetown — here and Level B … Every night, it’s super sweaty.”
Moreover, due to the high volume of people frequenting the bar, Pixel has also begun to serve drinks in plastic cups.
“We never had plastic cups before, but now it gets so busy now that we need plastic. We’re trying to be as safe as possible,” Failmezger said.
Although Pixel has been open since 2005, it was not a typical scene for undergraduate students until this year, said Vishal Vijay ’13.
“Pixel was pretty crowded in the past, but it was much more a hangout for the older demographic, with a blend of seniors and graduate students calling it home,” Vijay said.
For the last month and a half, Pixel has also seen a significant increase in the number of people coming to the lounge each night, said Pixel co-manager Peter Failmezger.
“People aren’t necessarily going to be looking for [good liquor or beer] come midnight on a Saturday, but it’s there for anyone who’s interested. You get enough people walking through your door, and you’ll get some people interested in that, as well as people who want to have a good time drinking and dancing,” Eric Turner, co-manager of Pixel, said.
According to PJ Avila ’12, the closure of two bars has greatly affected not just Pixel, but also the general Collegetown nightlife.
“Almost every night I have gone out, most places have been shoulder-to-shoulder standing room only,” Avila said. “Getting to the bar to get drinks also takes longer than before, and bartenders have looked pretty overwhelmed. I’m sure [for the other bars] business is up, but I’m not sure there’s enough out there to support the demand with two [bars] gone.”
Patricio Martinez contributed reporting.