Jessica Van Ruiten sits at a tall table facing the entrance of Garry's Lounge. Wearing a little black dress with her long dark hair falling around her face, she keeps an eye on the heavy door, watching as bouncers outside let twentysomethings in one at a time. Beside her stands her friend, 22-year-old Danielle Lynch. They sip their drinks and whisper — really, yelling over the music into each others' ears — in between hugs from friends and high school buddies.
Like everyone else, Van Ruiten and Lynch are out to celebrate Lodi's "college night," the evening before Thanksgiving when college students come home for the long holiday and reunite over electric-colored shots and beer at Lodi bars.