As the second semester progresses, Lincoln bars are experiencing an increase in business on Monday nights because of pinnings.
During the 2022 spring semester, bars along Lincoln’s famous “O” Street are hosting pinning ceremonies for fraternity and sorority members from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Pinning ceremonies are generally during the spring where a senior member from a fraternity house gives his pledge pin, a lapel piece, to his significant other, a senior member from a sorority house. When the man puts the pin on his girlfriend, it indicates that he is putting his girlfriend over his own house and that the couple is committed to a long term future with each other.
The ceremony is held at the sorority’s house. Members from the fraternity walk over to the sorority house dressed in suits and ties. Upon arrival, speeches are given by close friends from both parties, along with a song performance from each fraternity and sorority. The boyfriend pins his girlfriend. Then the fun begins.
Pinnings are held every year, but this semester seems to be different, as some bars are hosting more pinning parties than ever before. Nick Lamb, a bartender for The Brass Rail in Lincoln, said pinnings contribute to the bar’s success.
“Most of our business comes on the weekends, but pinnings offer another way for us to make revenue while also expanding our brand outside of just weekends,” Lamb said.
The Brass Rail, commonly known as The Rail, is located at 1436 O St. in Lincoln and is hosting a pinning party every Monday night and on some Thursday nights for the rest of the semester and rented out the bar multiple times prior.
Typically after the end of the singing, the couple announces to their friends and peers that they have rented out a bar for people to enjoy drinks at. Some couples even offer a few drinks to everyone of age, either by buying a keg from said bar or starting a tab with a specific amount on it.
Lamb added that it’s beneficial for himself and other bartenders to work these events.
“It’s a fairly easy gig since the bar isn’t at full capacity and people are still offering me tips. It allows me to have some money for the week,” Lamb said.
Another Lincoln bar along O St. that is hosting pinnings this semester is The Fat Toad, located at 1409 O St. The Fat Toad has live DJ music and an open dance floor in the center of the bar.
Dylan Lambe, a senior architecture major from Lincoln, and Carly Christensen, a senior major in community health and wellness also from Omaha, recently held their post-pinning party at The Fat Toad. Lambe is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and Christensen is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Lambe said being able to rent out The Fat Toad to celebrate was a special experience.
“You don’t typically think of being able to rent out a bar on a Monday of all nights,” he said. “Being able to do so to celebrate our relationship was something that neither of us will ever forget.”
Although not located directly on Lincoln’s O St., The Bar is hosting pinning ceremonies this semester, too. Some pinning parties rent out The Bar both before and or after the ceremony at the sorority house. For example, Lambe and Christensen had it booked prior to their pinning but The Fat Toad afterward.
The Bar is located at 1644 P St. in Lincoln and is hosting close to 15 total pinning parties this semester.
Kassius Skinner, a bartender at The Bar, said being able to host pinning events there makes it special for the parties involved but also tremendously helps the bar itself.
“Having these pinnings at places like The Bar or The Brass Rail really allows you to get everyone together during a weekday for a real occasion,” Butler said. “From the bars’ perspective, it really makes a huge difference. All of these (pinnings) are allowing us to make a good amount of money on Monday nights almost every week, which you don’t typically hear of.”