Eastern Europeans find a club of their own at the Loft

Rachel Descault, center, dances to music at Serbian Night at the Loft on August 28. —Stacy Rupolo

The Loft in Oak Bluffs is busy most nights of the summer season — but especially on Sundays. Since May, some of the almost 800 Serbian students working on J-1 visas pack the Loft on Sunday nights after a long weekend of work to blow off some steam and celebrate their culture. It all started last summer as a small gathering on Wednesday nights at Island House on Circuit Avenue. It caught on, and the informal party known as Serbian Night quickly outgrew its original location and moved to the Loft.

The event gets its moniker from the nationality of DJs David Dragas and Stefan Pete as well as many of the patrons who attend. “We play music that Serbians like, but anyone will come,” Dragas said. “I think Americans dance more than Serbians.”

Pete, a student who is living on Martha’s Vineyard for the summer, says it’s a dream come true to DJ here. “I feel great up here,” Stefan said. “I don’t do anything special, but it makes people happy. That’s all I want to do.”

Dragas said the dance floor usually remains vacant until close to 12 am, when people who work service-industry jobs can finally make it out to play. By the time last call comes around, the party has just started, and will morph into an afterparty somewhere else on the Island. Loft manager Orlando Hernayz says Sunday nights have become the bar’s busiest night since they started hosting the event.

“A lot of business owners call it Serbian Mondays because everyone is so hung-over the next day,” Hernayz said.

For more information, visit loftob.com.