Best Bar


Scott Haines, 24, of Kent strikes the cue ball during a game of billiards at the Zephyr Pub in downtown Kent on Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

Ella Abbott

Best of Kent 2019

Winner: Zephyr Pub

Located between Franklin Square Deli and the Loft, the Zephyr Pub is a hotspot for a Saturday night bar crawl around downtown Kent.

With three floors, two bars and a large outdoor patio with room for games like giant Connect Four and ping pong, it’s not hard to imagine why the pub would be Kent residents’ top choice.

On each floor, there’s a little something for everyone who ventures into the bar.

“If someone wants a more intense time, at midnight, they’ll go upstairs or to the third floor, and then the ones that kind of want to chill and whatever, they’ll come down (to the first floor),” said Patty Restaine, the general manager of Zephyr.

For Restaine, it’s not the bar itself that makes Zephyr the best, but the staff. She said staff members tend to stay a long time because they enjoy working at the bar for the same reason patrons enjoy visiting it.

“I think the staff brings this,” she said. “I think it’s the staff that make people feel welcome, and that’s what makes this atmosphere so good.”

Zephyr hosts charity events throughout the year. Most recently, it hosted a Record Store Day fundraiser called “Turn It Up Kent” to help create a fund at Woodsy’s (also located downtown) for kids who need financial help to buy or rent instruments.

Restaine said Zephyr’s visitors are unique, which sets the bar apart from others. The bar is a mix of different personalities, catering to and including the different types of people who make up the city of Kent.

“I think that this bar is a mix of so many different personalities,” she said. “I think that the coolest thing about this bar is that everybody is welcome.”

Second: Water Street Tavern

Home of the “Golden Flash” mixed drink, Water Street Tavern is a can’t-miss stop in Kent’s bar scene. Right along East Main Street, the bar offers $2 drink specials for happy hour every week night and $1 specials for Ladies’ Night every Tuesday.

Water Street has a party atmosphere on Saturday nights, but is also a spot to sit and watch your favorite sports team. With four bars located in the space — one in the basement, two on the main floor and one on the rooftop patio — Water Street utilizes its space well for every kind of bar-goer.

Third: Ray’s Place

Ray’s Place, established in 1937, is a hotspot destination for food, drinks and conversation. Inside, the building boasts its history with photos of founders and older versions of the building’s exterior.

Ray’s is also widely regarded as the best place to get a Long Island iced tea.