Students view “The Bachelor” at local bar

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Augustana students celebrating a birthday together watch the Bachelor finale at Brandon’s Pub & Grille in Rock Island, IL, March 9, 2020. Brandon’s has been hosting The Bachelor watch parties for their patrons since the start of the series latest season.

McKenna Nagle

Monday nights can be an important time for certain Augie students– since this is when ABC airs their show “The Bachelor”. This Monday, March 9 was particularly important for avid bachelor fans because part one of the season finale of “The Bachelor” aired.

Recently, students and businesses have started hosting viewing parties to celebrate the show and watch it in real time; Brandon’s Bar is one such business.

Brandon’s Bar, located on 7th avenue, has just recently started hosting a viewing party of “The Bachelor.” The viewing parties began when an Augustana student mentioned to the owners, Brandon and Brendt Smith, how fun it would be if she and her friends had a place where they could all watch “The Bachelor” together as it aired live.

The owners loved the idea, and Bachelor viewing parties became a weekly event at the bar.

“It went from three girls coming in to anywhere from twenty to thirty kids coming in to watch it Monday nights,” Brendt said.

“A lot of our friends and sorority sisters have been going, and we figured we should come for the finale,” senior Kelsi Clarke said.

Clarke was excited to watch the episode live and not have to worry about it being spoiled on social media before she had the chance to watch it the day after.

Junior Nora Brown was not aware of the viewing parties but said she is excited that she now has a place to watch with friends:

“I think watching ‘The Bachelor’ with other people is more fun because then you can bounce ideas off each other.”

“The Bachelor” viewing parties have helped establish Brandon’s Bar as a safe, fun, new place for Augie students right next to campus.

Brendt said he and Brandon want to make the most out of their location which is so close to Augustana’s campus.

So far, they said they feel like they’ve been succeeding.

“The buzz, we’ve been told, around campus has been a very positive one,” Brendt said. “We heard that Augie students didn’t feel welcomed to the establishment by previous ownership, and that was Brandon’s goal and my goal.”

The bar specifically has a night menu and keeps the kitchen open late so that students can feel welcome to eat, do homework or have a fun night with friends.

“We want it to feel like it’s [the students] bar right here on Augustana campus,” Brendt said.

They plan to keep the welcoming atmosphere alive with “The Bachelorette” watch parties when the new season starts in May.