[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — For Nikki Hendry, it was a choice between squeezing in a couple of hours of studying and an 18-and-over club night in downtown Phoenix. Midterms didn’t have a chance. “Oh my God, we were so happy that there was something to do downtown,” Hendry, 18, said Thursday. Hendry, a student at ASU, was at Bar Smith, dancing in a crowd of other classmates as Lil Wayne’s hit Lollipop thundered through the speakers. It’s another sign that Arizona State University has not only made its mark on the Phoenix skyline — it’s begun to seep into downtown nightlife. At least two nightspots, Bar Smith and Sky Lounge, have 18-and-older dance nights.
This fall, about 5,000 ASU students took classes in Phoenix and roughly 550 of them live in downtown dorms, according to the university. While ASU is growing, nearby shops have struggled to attract students. While Sky Lounge and Bar Smith managers are happy about the positive word of mouth, there have been lessons as well, they say. Bar Smith, which operates an upscale restaurant during the day, unsuccessfully tried to lure students with meal discounts, owner Bill Smith said. But the Thursday 18-and-over club night was an instant hit. It attracts up to 80 students a night, he said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]