The Inn Between Tavern’s decision to surrender its liquor license sent shockwaves through the Geneseo community. After the biggest shake-up to Geneseo’s nightlife scene in recent memory, The Statesmen quickly emerged under new management as a popular weekend destination for students. I visited The Statesmen on a recent Friday evening, determined to find out whether or not the bar was a viable alternative to the venerable Geneseo institution that is the IB. I arrived around 11:30 p.m. ready to pay the standard $5 cover fee for patrons under the age of 21—the same fee charged by the IB while it still served alcohol. I immediately noticed that the majority of the action was concentrated in the bar area, leaving the dance floor almost entirely empty. This was a stark contrast to the IB and its notoriously difficult-to-traverse dance floor.
As the evening wore on, however, more and more patrons moved away from the bar and onto the floor. Soon enough, personal space became staggeringly hard to come by. One shortcoming was the dimly lit room that hosted the dance floor. Whereas the IB had two distinct floors complete with nooks, crannies and—most important of all—risers, The Statesmen’s single, rectangular floor reminded me of a lame bar mitzvah. This architectural defect hardly seemed to bother the scores of students dancing, but was enough to give me pause.
While its dance floor falls short, The Statesmen scores back points with its affordable drink selections. For instance, Welfare Wednesdays offer half-priced drinks from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. My sources above the age of 21 inform me that the “Chameleon” is a particularly popular and “efficient” drink.
Perhaps the greatest difference between The Statesmen and the IB is that the former is open all week long. On any given night during the week, you’re bound to find students treating themselves to the bar’s truly exceptional chicken wings while watching whatever game is on television.
Students may recall the IB’s weekday presence—an eerily quiet reminder of the past weekend’s poor decisions looming over campus.
When all was said and done, I left that evening having had quite a good time. The atmosphere was decidedly less intense than the IB—it was much easier to stop and have a chat with someone you’ve run into.
Every bar has its own vibe. Though The Statesmen cannot replicate the amplified environment of the IB, it has established its own unique presence in the Geneseo community. The timing of the bar’s reopening has many looking to substitute weekly trips to the IB with visits to The Statesmen—these people will be disappointed.
As time passes, however, Geneseo students and residents alike will come to discover The Statesmen for what it truly is—a genuinely refreshing destination for anyone looking to relax and blow off some steam. Whether you’re the type of person who’s looking to celebrate the end of another week with four Chameleons straight to the face or merely want to enjoy some hot wings while watching football on a Sunday afternoon, The Statesmen has got you covered.