When I turned 21, a friend wanted to go to Court Street one night and swing by a few bars.
A simple night out turned into a college experience-changing evening. My friend, who had been of-age for a while before my birthday, decided to take me to The Overhang, a chill, fun, vibrant bar with plenty of great drinks and a nice jukebox.
I thought the night was pretty standard, but soon enough, we started going there every night. We drank there, we laughed there, we had our share of fun there. We watched late-night college football on Saturdays in the fall, NBA games on Saturdays in the winter and playoff action on Saturdays in the spring.
The same perch played host to all those viewings. We sat on the middle bar of the establishment, the one between the serving bar and the pool tables. TVs are on all sides, and we made the bartenders turn whatever we wanted to watch on because after a while, they knew who we were.
In no time, we became friends with the bartenders.
Stacy, Mary, Taylor, Rachel, Lauren, all of them. Every bartender who served my friends and I when we were out on the weekends: thank you.
You never ignored us, always made sure to smile, took selfies with us, put up with our horrible music and helped us when we needed somebody to talk to. You were quick to pour, but quicker to learn our names and remember us, even when it didn’t seem like anyone did. You helped make my friends and I have a fun college experience. No tip in the world could be worth that.
Let me be clear: It’s not like all we did for two years after we turned 21 was drink. My best friend and I traveled the Midwest covering Ohio football and basketball. My roommates and I played video games for hours on end when we should have been studying, all while maintaining good GPAs. One of my roommates even became one of the head editors at The Post.
Most of us are moving on to internships, full time jobs and new opportunities when we graduate in a few short days. Some of us have already had success in our prospective fields and will continue to kill it in whatever we choose to do.
But every time we needed to blow off steam, raise a glass in celebration, drink off a hard week of school or exams, anything, we knew where to find each other.
I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I’ve gotten the “OHang?” text and smiled.
I have received it from friends who want to grab a drink. I’ve received it from my girlfriend, who doesn’t even go to Ohio but knows where to find me when I’m out at the bars on Court Street. I’ve gotten it from my own mother, who frowns on my drinking and would be mad at me for writing a column about a bar, but she understands what The Overhang means to my friends and I.
As my time in Athens winds down and I muster the courage to say goodbye to everything I have come to love about this beautiful college town in the last number of years, I’ll go to restaurants and cherish the food this town has to offer. I’ll check out the sights and walk past Cutler Hall for the last time and be OK.
But saying goodbye to The Overhang is going to be tough.
Thanks for everything, Overhang. It’s been one hell of a time.
Spencer Holbrook is the sports editor at ‘The Post.’