The Annex pumps up UCF-area nightlife
Students are starting to discover a new hangout at a bar that has recently opened off the corner of University Boulevard and Dean Road.
The Annex opened on Aug. 20 and is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
After being greeted by two bouncers, students have the option of relaxing with couches and pool to the left of the room.
The center of the room is taken up by the bar, with several bartenders who welcome everyone who comes in.
Lights of various colors brighten up the room in a motion that inspires students to get up and dance.
The music accompanies the movement of the lights, encouraging people to enjoy their night out.
A dance floor set up to the right with an additional bar along the wall allows for the hundreds of people to join together in one place and dance the night away.
Though it's closed Sunday to Tuesday, The Annex has specials the rest of the week, such as free liquor pitchers from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesdays, free drinks and shots until midnight on Thursdays, free calls, drafts, drinks and shots until midnight on Fridays and free cover from 9 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. on Saturdays.
Austin Hunt, senior majoring in marketing, is a bartender at The Annex and has previously bartended and managed at Fubar and The Mad Hatter.
Hunt typically works two or three days per week.
"My routine as a bartender consists of setting up the bar, being knowledgeable of all drink orders and specials and serving the customers in a timely, efficient and respectful manner," Hunt said.
He said the bar is perfect for any typical college student that enjoys having a fun time.
"The Annex is without a doubt built for college students; that is our target market," he said. "It is a perfect place for your typical student to go out and have a good time, without breaking the bank."
Ian Carroll, a senior hospitality management major, went to The Annex for the first time and was very pleased with his experience.
"I think it is a good set-up," Carroll said. "I think I'll go more in the future."
He said he usually goes to other clubs near UCF, but he decided to try out this new bar for a change of scene.
Some students decided to visit the new bar opening night, and came back for a second time to re-live their fun experience.
For the special event on Labor Day, Netaniel Baruch-Duok, a junior business major, decided to go to The Annex with some friends for free drinks from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
"The first time I came was for opening night, and it was insane," he said. "I waited in line for an hour before I could get in. It was so crowded, but still a great time."
Not all students enjoyed their time at the new bar, however.
Sweetu Shah, a senior majoring in hospitality management, said she went because she saw great specials on Party Tutor.
"I'm not a fan. [The bartenders] got my order wrong multiple times, and service was not orderly," Shah said.
Despite the hectic scene, she said there should have been an order where the bartenders serve people based on when they arrived at the bar to help everyone to get drinks fairly.
Luckily for students who did not enjoy their time as much as they hoped, general manager Robel Berhane said this is just a soft opening.
From November to December, the bar will be closed down for renovation, and there will be a grand opening in January for the new semester.
"We just wanted to give UCF students a taste of what's to come," Berhane said. "People don't realize what's going to happen; it will look 150 percent different."
Berhane said it is funny to him that most students like how the bar is now because they have no idea that there will be a new layout with a much better scene in a couple months.
"Students are just being mind-twisted right now because no one knows what the management is really going to do," Berhane said.
He said the current layout upsets him, but he is very excited for the new bar to make its way.
"It's going to be poetry in motion. I think this will probably be the top bar next semester," he said. "With the grand opening, it's going to be what UCF really needs."