Reopening of Shot Stop brings attention to Aggieville nightlife

Johnny Kaws’ Yard Bar & Shot Stop (Cindy Castro | Collegian Media Group)

Johnny Kaw’s Shot Stop has drawn a lot of attention back to the nightlife in Aggieville after its reopening over the Halloween weekend a few weeks ago.

With a few things closing down during COVID, Shot Stop has been the first to reopen since the renovations.

Katie McDonald, a bartender of three years at Yard Bar and Shot Stop, said the turnout was exactly what they were expecting and more on opening night.

“We opened it up over homecoming weekend on that Thursday, and we were actually way over capacity at one point,” McDonald said. “We had to turn the music off and turn all of the lights on, and kick everyone out and then re-let people back in.”

The announcement that Shot Stop was opening back up was only known to the public a few days before its reopening.

Lexi Middendorp, senior in criminology studies and bartender at Yard Bar, worked the Friday night of the opening weekend and said she was thoroughly surprised at how many people showed up and the impact posting about the reopening had.

“On Friday night, we hit capacity, and the fire department came in and they counted how many people were there, and we were way over capacity, so we had to turn on all the lights and ask everyone to leave,” Middendorp said. “But as soon as we had the right amount of people leave to get down to regular capacity, the fire marshall counted, and we were all good to go.”

Thursday and Friday didn’t stop the crowds from coming. With the homecoming football game and a Halloween weekend, Saturday night was one of the busiest nights Yard Bar had seen in a very long time.

“Saturday night was the busiest night that we have probably ever had,” McDonald said. “I was bartending at Shot Stop that night, and there was probably a line of about 50 people trying to get into Shot Stop and around 150 people trying to get into Yard Bar.”

As lines outside of Yard Bar and Shot Stop were starting to wrap around buildings, more and more attention was brought to its reopening from outside the bars.

Mary England, senior in psychology and gender women sexuality studies and bartender at Yard Bar, said she was excited to experience the excitement and energy Shot Stop was bringing to the nightlife in Aggieville.

“We all kind of expected it to be crazy, but not as crazy as it actually was,” England said. “At the beginning of my shift, I was supposed to be at the front bar of Yard Bar, but they ended up moving me over to Shot Stop because everything filled up super fast, and there was a line that was stretching all the way around our patio area by the fireplaces.”

Unlike the regular bar at Yard Bar, Shot Stop has a much larger variety of shots, alcohol and mixers behind the bar.

“At Shot Stop, we have a huge chalkboard above the bar that has around 60 different shots that you can get,” Middendorp said. “They can range anywhere between $2 and $6, but you can also get the same drinks that you usually get over on the regular Yard Bar side. Everything you can get at Yard Bar you can get at Shot Stop, there’s just more options at Shot Stop.”

Yard Bar and Shot Stop are open from 7:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. More information about both businesses is available through the Johnny Kaw’s website.