T. S. Chamberland
Staff Writer

Bounce. Don’t fall. Bounce. Don’t fall. Bounce and swing. Step back and laugh uncontrollably. Staying on my feet was far harder than it looked. I’m quite sure two things were responsible for me not ending up on my keister the entire two minutes I was in the inflatable boxing ring at Last Stop. One, I hadn’t consumed a drop of alcohol. Two, there were people watching (read: Photographer Russ Dillingham had his camera).

My cousin, Crystal St. Hilaire, and I gave in to peer pressure one recent Saturday night and decided to try the boxing at Last Stop, the only bottle club in Lewiston-Auburn. We signed the waiver, removed all jewelry and shoes, and crawled into the ring. Slightly awkward. If you’ve never seen this boxing ring, think child’s bounce house designed as a boxing ring. Add extremely oversized and surprisingly heavy boxing gloves and you get the picture.

We tapped gloves and carefully aimed swings as not to muss up our fabulous hair. (Hey, don’t judge; we are female after all.) We lasted one 30-second round and one 10-second round before we were excused for complete lack of game. Other pairings that night were far more entertaining, including a boyfriend-girlfriend matchup following us.

Located at 179 High St. in Auburn, Last Stop’s claim to fame is that it’s the only place locally where patrons bring their own alcoholic beverages to the club. But owner Frank Berenyi takes the club well beyond a drinking venue to offer a wide range of entertainment to accompany the favorite beverages you bring along. There’s dancing with DJ Kool V of Lewiston, giant Jenga and Connect Four games, and in the room between the dance floor and pool tables a mechanical bull and the inflatable boxing ring alternate Fridays and Saturdays. And that’s all in addition to the standard pool and Foosball tables, beer pong and video games.

Whether you want a place to get your evening started, a place to end it or you’re looking for a place to hang out all night, this club has something for most everyone.

Berenyi said he wanted Last Stop to be more of an entertainment complex than a typical bottle club.

“The 35-and-under crowd really hasn’t been exposed to any of it, because there have been no B.Y.O.B. clubs around,” said Berenyi. “We wanted to make it something that was unique and more affordable.”

Amber Durgin of Auburn has been to Last Stop five or six times and says it’s a great place for a fun night out.

“It’s fun here. I like the different rooms; especially the beer pong and the boxing ring. It’s funny to see people in it,” said Durgin.

The obvious benefits to a bottle club are that you save money and you get exactly what you want in a drink, because you brought it with you. It isn’t uncommon to see groups of people wheeling in big coolers filled with ingredients for nearly any adult beverage.

Want a frozen mudslide or daiquiri? No problem. Just bring the blender and assorted alcohol and you’ve got a drink made to your liking and for far less money. Jello shots and pony kegs are something else that Berenyi says he’s gotten used to seeing his patrons bring in with them. The more comfortable people get with the bottle club concept, the more creative they get when it comes to the beverages they bring.

Of course, many still keep it simple with a six pack or two of their favorite beer or a couple of bottles of wine. The only stipulation for those who are bringing alcohol is that they are not allowed to sell any of it on the premises.

The club is open Friday and Saturday nights 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. most of the year — Saturday nights only during the coldest winter months. The cover is $10.

Twice a month, 97.9 FM WJBQ’s own Rob Steel hosts a live remote at the club, and Berenyi says those nights draw some of the bar’s largest crowds.

Steel and the club’s ladies’ night special on Saturdays have Lewiston residents Sarah Mercier, Natasha Curtis and Robin St. Laurent coming to the club every Saturday night.

“Bring your own alcohol, make your own drinks,” said Mercier. “Then you’re not paying seven bucks for a small drink.”

“No cover charge before 9, it’s great,” said Curtis, referring to ladies’ night.

“Even 5 bucks after 9 is not bad,” said St. Laurent. “I like when Rob Steel is here. He really brings in the crowd.”

Another aspect of the club that people seem to enjoy is the large patio. Whether you want to cool off or you’re a smoker, being able to exit the doors from any of the four rooms and still be close to all the action is a plus. The patio can accommodate acoustic music acts as well as seating for patrons.

“To be able to have so much fun with different activities, like being able to go and dance or just sit and drink, is nice,” said Curtis. The Jenga is awesome and the giant Connect Four.”

“Don’t let them fall though, they’re really loud when they hit the ground,” laughed Mercier.

Berenyi said trouble in any form isn’t tolerated, and anyone who gets out of hand is removed from the club. Since it’s opening last summer, there have been no serious altercations or regular problems, he said.

“The biggest thing here is I want to keep the girls happy. We don’t want guys slobbering all over them and harassing them,” said Berenyi. “I want two girls who are going out for the night to feel comfortable here.”

Mercier, St. Laurent and Curtis agree the lack of drama is a draw, allowing them to just enjoy their night out without the complication of fights and unruly behavior from other patrons.

“There are so many different crowds, from people in their 50s and 60s to people in their 20s, that come in here,” said Mercier.

“It’s a good crowd, there are not a lot of problems,” said Curtis.

Right now, the club doesn’t offer food, but Berenyi says he’s working with the city on a few things like adding a kitchen. Patrons can also look forward to inflatable 3-D Twister and other games in the coming months, something Berenyi says keeps things fun and new. He says he’s also got plans for football season, but wasn’t ready to offer specifics.

[email protected]

Every Friday (starting Apr. 17) and Saturday 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Saturday, April 18: 97.9 FM WJBQ’s Rob Steel is back for another live remote show, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

For more information: 795-STOP (7867)


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