Night Owl Bar opens near Boca campus

Emily Bloch

Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Photo by Michelle Friswell.
So, two guys walk into a bar — it’s dark, dirty, the floors are carpeted, the bathrooms aren’t up to code, it reeks of cigarette smoke everywhere, and there are what seem like infinite vinyl booths, pool tables, and dartboards. The punchline? Those two guys revamped that bar and transformed it from TJ Murphy’s Irish Pub into the newest college bar to hit FAU territory.

Sitting at one of the dark wooden high tops are managing partners, Mike Minot and Brian Hubschman, dressed casually. A couple surfboards hang behind them, and to their right are two white upholstered VIP booths, complete with their own mini bar, and a DJ booth up above. The 28- and 26-year-old UCF grads may be new to Boca, but not to the bar scene.

It’s the same duo that brought University of Central Florida the college bar, Knight Library. Their newest mission has been making similar nightlife for FAU.

“Knight Library is that place I would bring my parents to for family weekend,” said Minot. “And the place you go for football games. It was just that home base staple bar for UCF students and we’re trying to do the same thing down here.”

Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Night Owl has been open for two and a half weeks now, and Minot says everything’s been going up. “Every night has been exponentially better than the one before,” said Minot. “We have an all day every day happy hour. At UCF, we’ll have those kids who will want to drink at four and five in the afternoon.” Now, FAU students can have that opportunity too.

According to Minot and Hubschman, Night Owl is a take on Knight Library’s bar with more entertainment. Unlike Library, Night Owl houses bright neon light boxes and LED lights around the drink selection. There’s also a live DJ every night, including DJ Cosmo on Saturdays who’s known for his rock/rap mashups.

Named No. 42 on a list of best bars in the country published by Complex — Marc Ecko’s magazine — in 2010, Knight Library has been known for keeping college students tipsy since 2005.

Walking into the Night Owl Bar, 10 flat-screen TVs ranging in size from 42 to 80 inches hang against red brick walls. A plate of fire engine red chicken wings hit a nearby table alongside a [quote_left]“So, our blue cheese is actually blue.” Brian Hubschman[/quote_left]small dish of literally ‘smurf blue’ blue cheese dressing.

“We wanted to do bar food, but with a twist,” said Hubschman. “So, our blue cheese is actually blue — it’s just food coloring, don’t worry.” In tribute to FAU’s school colors, the menu’s wings come with a signature red sauce and a “blue” blue cheese to dip in. “No one else [does that],” bragged Executive Chef, Reed Alenik. “Just me.”

Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Night Owl’s menu leans toward the small side, with 12 food items in total. Alenik makes the fusion bar food from scratch daily. “You have to love what you do — and I do,” he said. “It’s my passion.” Alenik has been a chef for 16 years now, and managers Minot and Hubschman praise his work.

As for the prices, students don’t have to dig too far into their pockets. All drinks at Night Owl range from $7 to $8, with two $10 drinks and different specials happening throughout the week.

Night Owl’s menu comes complete with vegetarian options, like ‘The Owl’s Nest’ salad, which has an artisanal lettuce mix, drunken pears, candied almonds, yellow beets, and herb ricotta served with homemade white balsamic dressing.

Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Photo by Michelle Friswell.
And just when you thought their dressing was the only thing blue on the menu — there’s also a signature drink in FAU’s honor. The Blue Wave (FAU’s baseball team’s former name) consists of Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, Three Olives Citrus Vodka, fresh lemon juice, sour mix, Sprite, and a splash of grenadine. “I hadn’t heard anything about a drink named for the team,” said Hugh Adams, a redshirt senior who pitches for FAU’s baseball team. “It’s good to see a local business that is excited about FAU baseball.”

There are also Riot Wednesdays, which mean free drinks for ladies, $3 shots, $4 drinks for guys all night, and free PBR Tall Boys until midnight. It also means a whole night of house music. “Everyone already knows about Riot Wednesdays from Knight Library,” said Hubschman. “A lot of people who know UCF know Library.”

“It’s cool running a college bar, and being around these college kids again,” said Minot. “The biggest thing we’d like to stress is that our biggest goal is to grow with FAU and the Boca Raton community and bring something to them that they don’t really have in this town.”