For collegians, ‘growing up’ means ‘toning it down’

“Grown and sexy.” That phrase is possibly the most frequently used cliché since Jay-Z said it in his hit, “Excuse Me, Miss.” But just what does it mean?

People use the expression to describe their lifestyles-their clothing, their demeanor and the way they party.

Whereas older students used to walk to their first house party or take shuttles to the club their freshman year, many are now attending cosmopolitan affairs. Transitioning into a more mature way to entertain has become a growing trend for young adults.

The 21-plus crowd is even finding itself going out during the week just for a bite to eat and a drink, rather than “pulling an all-nighter” at the Late Night Library.

One of the newest hot spots in Tallahassee is definitely on the radar. The Tallahassee Ale House, with the self-proclaimed “best wings in town,” is where many students go to relax and unwind.

Leopold Sambou, the general manager of food and beverages at the Ale House, 1355 Apalachee Parkway, said he got the idea to host events from an evening at Buffalo Wild Wings, or BW3s, this summer.

He said he met members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. who wanted a new venue to hold their parties.

“They were successful parties,” Sambou said of his partnership with the Upsilon Psi chapter of Omega Psi Phi.

Sambou said while the restaurant has seen a decent profit from the weekends, weekdays are just as lucrative.

“We offer somewhere to go on Thursdays,” he said. “Since Skyline [nightclub] closed, the Ale House and Deep [Lounge] are the only places open for young blacks to go.”

And for the sports enthusiasts, the Ale House provides “Monday Night Football,” airing black-out games not shown anywhere else.

However, some students are not waiting for bars and clubs to offer a more adult atmosphere to have fun. They are making their own.

Eventions, an event-planning agency, plans many formal affairs. Executive assistant Mary Green said while the organization does most of its work for non-profit organizations, the soirées could be tailored for individual parties.

“We have interns and students working here,” Green said. “It is possible to help [students] plan events for their organizations and such.”

Green said the occasions Eventions has organized range from annual picnics to a three-day event, including a wine tasting and various meals.

For a more relaxed environment, Sambou said the Ale House is available for rent for private parties.

He said the restaurant is a one-stop shop for party needs: The Ale House provides the venue, the bar, food and drinks. The only thing the host would have to provide is music or a disc jockey.

For those who do not want to spend the money for a party planner or a venue, finding a few friends to socialize with could be a fun a way to celebrate different occasions for a low cost.

Kevin Joseph agreed. The 21-year-old senior business administration student from Atlanta said he celebrated his last birthday with his close friends for two nights.

“We went to Crystal River [Seafood Restaurant] one night, then we went to Chili’s the next,” he said. “I preferred having dinner with some friends – it was grown up.”

Joseph said since he’s been in college, he has seen his partying habits evolve.

“I used to walk to Mount Zion [Calypso Café] every Friday. We would go out every weekend,” he said of his friends. “Now when we go out, we go to the Plaza. It’s a better atmosphere.”

Joseph also said he enjoys hanging out with friends and having “get-togethers” as opposed to the traditional house party.

Green said the progression of the 20-something social scene is only natural, and young adults should know when it is time to hang up the constant club scene and find “more subdued forms of entertainment.”

Contact Lindsay Pollard at