Gabe’s party bus takes over Thursday nights

A new shuttle from Gabe’s Roadhouse in Como Park has started coming to the arches.

Nick Wozniak, whose family owns Gabe’s Roadhouse, saw how successful game-day shuttles were and decided to expand to local college campuses. Before Gabe’s could do this, the restaurant had to buy a shuttle because renting one was too expensive.

“Since we purchased our own bus, we were able to have that luxury of kind of going anywhere we wanted and doing anything we wanted because we own the bus,” Wozniak said.

Hamline was the only school that Gabe’s initially targeted for College ID Night Thursdays. There wasn’t much interest at Hamline, so Gabe’s decided to expand to more schools and used social media to do so, Wozniak said. Now students are not only showing up Thursdays, but they also are helping run the bar and restaurant by bouncing, bartending, and disc jockeying.

“I think [social media] really played a big role in it, and helped to get a whole bunch of people in here,” Wozniak said. “The first week we were surprised with how many people were here and then it just built and built.”

No more shuttle to Tiff’s

Blake Montpetit, whose family owns Tiffany Sports Lounge, said the bar’s bus would not shuttle students from the arches to Tiff’s every Thursday. The bus will be there on major event days, such as for homecoming and the Thursday before Halloween, Montpetit said.

Some students are disappointed with this change.

“It’s too bad that the Tiffany’s shuttle won’t run every Thursday night anymore,” said senior Ale Wicka. “I’m glad that Gabe’s is around because it brings some variety to Thursday nights, but eventually more students are going to go back to Tiff’s and Plum’s and it would be nice to have that shuttle as an option.”

Gabe’s turnout may “level out a bit”

Gabe’s has been popular recently with many students who were once regulars at Tiff’s and Plum’s, but some students don’t think Gabe’s is going to be the only place to be Thursday nights.

“I think at some point [the number of students coming to Gabe’s] is going to level out a bit, but Gabe’s has established itself as a new option for Thursday nights,” said senior Tyler Villaume, who is the DJ at Gabe’s.

According to Wozniak, Gabe’s recent success is based on much more than a free shuttle and drink specials. He said It’s also the expansive layout of the bar that everyone likes. There is a front bar, a back bar and a dance floor.

“It gives people variety, and I think that’s why a lot of people like it and keep coming back,” Wozniak said.

Kristi Battarbee can be reached at

11 Replies to “Gabe’s party bus takes over Thursday nights”

  1. Wow, this is ridiculous.  People need to find better things to do with their time than drink.  This story almost makes me embarrassed to be a UST student.

  2. To clarify, I think that Gabes will remain the top Thursday spot, but there will be times when people will decide to go to Plums every once and a while. The venue at Gabes is the main attraction because there’s 3 different atmospheres in one bar. The front bar is brighter, not so loud, and has more room to move around and socialize, but if you want to dance, you can go to the dance floor where the music is louder, the room is darker, and there’s an insane light show. Then there’s the back bar which has dim lighting, louder music, and a patio connected to it. It’s hard to escape the loud music at Plums or Tiffs unless you go to the patio at Plums which is rendered virtually useless 5 months a year. 

    Another thing that is drawing people to Gabes is the friendly atmosphere. While we were all training to work, one thing that was really important to the Wozniaks is that we all be very friendly to the customers. Obviously there are times when some people get out of hand and annoy you, but the Wozniaks have been priding themselves on the welcoming environment.

  3. Really Mark? Sorry that college students do drink and think that is a good use of their time. We can’t possibly be on our knees praying 24/7 now can we?

  4. I think it’s funny that you don’t see anybody who chooses to drink passing judgment on those who choose not to. However, those who choose not to are calling those who do ridiculous.

  5. I really don’t think that you’re quite on level with Mark’s point there, John. I’m perfectly aware that college students are wont to enjoy a good drink every now and then. It’s nice to relax, it’s nice to socialize, everyone needs some time off.

    However, I can’t help but agree that as a University, and as a University news media site, our focus should be elsewhere. Class continues on Friday. Learning and personal growth are not aspects of the university that only extend from 9-5.

    I can appreciate the success of a local business and even the increased safety granted by this transportation option. However, glamorizing this activity using University resources concerns me. We have a large population of minors, who read this – and if they see this as the acceptable and popular behavior, it becomes the norm.

    There are other options: Play a board game, play a video game, play a round of hide-and-seek. Talk to a friend, talk to a stranger, meet someone and learn about something that you will actually remember. Read a book, get a jump on your weekend homework, do something productive. Watch TV, have a date night with your significant other, or go for a walk along the river under the stars.

  6. Yes.  Ever since I moved to college I just love to play hide-and-seek and play a board game…… Maybe next weekend I will call up my best friend from class so he can come over to my house and play in the back yard. 

    College adults have every right to enjoy themselves in a grown up setting.  People getting blackout drunk every weekend is stupid…. sure, but it’s up to them.  Different people have different ideas of fun and excitement.   When these students go out to the bars at night they experience many of the same activities described above.  They talk to friends, and strangers, they form new friendships, they walk under the stars, and they take themselves away from the academic environment to relax. 

    If you think a party bus is a bad idea… don’t get on it.  Enjoy your night in your dorm room with your textbooks and TV, thats up to you.  But don’t look down on every student who goes to the bar…. many of them are the same people you sit next to in class who do the same work you do. 

  7. I’m very aware that these are my classmates. I’m perfectly cognizant of the fact that they have every right to do what they wish, and I’m not disparaging their choice. I want to clarify that.

    If an individual finds their greatest relaxation or social environment out at the bars, then more power to them. The list of activities (I’m not sure who ever told you Hide-and-Seek stopped being fun) was primarily a response to John’s inflammatory statement above, not a prohibitive list of the only acceptable campus activities.

    My only complaint is the perpetuation of the thought that it’s “the” cool thing to do on Thursday nights. I just so happen to be rather progressive with my opinions on drinking age and drug legalization, doesn’t change the fact that neither of these are inherently good for us. They kill brain cells, they can cause addiction and affect depression.

    Again, that last statement is not meant to judge. I mean, many of the same people who like to have a drink are people on comment boards beside you.

  8. John and Jordan, I feel like there must be a middle ground between the social “night-life” scene and “good clean” fun. Perhaps we can play hide-and-go seek IN A bar, or play a fun, competitive game of checkers at a raging house party!

  9. While I agree with the sentiment that this site does seem to focus a lot on alcohol use (where are students drinking, how are they drinking, what happens when they drink, where are other places they’ll be drinking, how do the neighbors feel?) but I guess it IS a college issue, and I really hate it when news/media gets so watered down these days… (when I worked on the yearbook staff, we werent allowed to use photos with alcohol in them, because nobody at UST drinks, of course) 

    To those who say things like ‘find something better to do with your time than drink!” I’ll respond with this. I tried that, and it wasn’t fun. 

    While hanging out in people’s dorm rooms wasn’t my cup of oatmeal stout, maybe its yours, and maybe that’s alright, because neither one of us is in any way hindering the other from having a good time. 

  10. I like both of Trevor’s suggestions. Problem solved. Hahahaha.

    And Tony, I suppose that it’s primarily a concern for fair representation – media in general has marginalized people who have certain moral codes. This won’t change, and it shouldn’t change. Freedom of the press and media. We can’t realistically cater to everyone’s tastes and aversions – and forcing them to do so would be just as much tyranny, therefore it’s the responsibility of the comments, the public to make differing opinions heard.

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