A Duke experience may not be complete without at least one night spent dancing at Shooters II Saloon, located within walking distance of East Campus. Taxidermy animal heads, mannequins placed near the DJ’s station, a mechanical bull and a crowded dance floor, all with the tone of the “Wild Wild West,” somehow combine to form a cohesive arena where Duke students escape from campus.
Junior Aleis Murphy said Shooters is an outlet for students to release the stress of college life and spend a night dancing with friends.
“Duke students feel like we are constantly having to be our best, to make Duke look good and to put our best foot forward,” Murphy said. “Shooters is the only venue where we’re allowed to go crazy and not be perfect.”
Despite the release from the confines of campus, many Duke students tire of Shooters after a few too many Saturday nights spent in the crowded club. For junior Akshay Save, the Shooters experience has lost much of its appeal over his past 2 1/2 years at Duke.
“I like Shooters, but I lost interest in the Shooters scene last year,” Save said.
Despite the eventual monotony that evolves out of four years spent frequenting the same bar, the Shooters experience is undeniably a convention of Duke’s social scene. Attracting its biggest Duke crowds on Wednesday and Saturday nights, Shooters II Saloon is often where students can be found celebrating a big win for a Duke Athletics team or partaking in holiday festivities.
To complete the student body's unofficial graduation requirements, however, it is not enough just to go to Shooters. The last requirement before finally crossing Shooters II off the unofficial bucket list is to complete the trifecta—dancing on the bar and in the cage as well as riding the mechanical bull.