Alumni dish about the best places to celebrate in Kent

Leprechaun Guy

Madison Baughman

Break out your gear because St. Patrick’s Day is near and it’s time for green beer! 

The craziness of Fake Paddy’s Day may have already passed, but KSU students find themselves lucky this year because the real St. Patrick’s Day is on a Saturday as well. Two times the green, two times the beer.  

Fake Paddy’s Day was not always a Kent tradition. Before this day was celebrated, some students were so dedicated to the actual green beer holiday that it took importance over classes. Professors weren’t so lucky when St. Patrick’s Day fell on a weekday. 

“The majority of people cut classes and went to their favorite bar,” said Leslye Loscalzo, a 1995 Kent State alumna. “You’d go in the morning, and then by noon everybody’s drunk quite frankly… then it was a big deal again in the evening.”

Current students may continue on this early morning drinking tradition, but you could also argue they’re more “responsible” by creating this iconic fake holiday. 

Over the years, bars in Kent have come and gone, and some may never leave, but what they all have had in common is being sure to break out the shamrocks for students’ favorite holiday. 

Bars 25-30 years ago had more creative names. Places such as The Rondevu, Filthy McNasty’s, Mothers Junction, Screwy Louie’s, The Mushroom and The Robin Hood were all popular favorites in the late ‘80s up to the early 2000s. 

Although these bars may not be around today, one has stayed an all- time favorite for a while, according to 1988 Kent State alumna Karen Bells. 

“Our number one place we hung out, by far, was Ray’s,” she said. “The only thing I can remember drinking on St. Paddy’s Day is green beer and (cheap) tequila. It’s what you could afford when you were a college student. Not Patron or something like that… not even at the level of Jose Cuervo probably.” 

If only Water Street Tavern was around in 1988, Bells and her classmates may have taken advantage of the $2 Patron shots being offered this year. Thankfully, the love for green beer has become more popular with almost every bar in Kent this year serving it cheap for St. Patrick’s Day. 

Tina Tindall, a 1992 Kent State alumna, reminisced about some fun, or not-so-fun times she had at a bar, no longer around, called The Townhouse. 

“They (The Townhouse) had all these paper shamrocks all over the place,” Tindall said. “We were taking them down and putting them on people and taking them down and putting them under our shirts and they yelling ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ and lifting up our shirts,” Tindall said. 

“We got warned to not take the stuff down off the walls, (but) then there was a big fight on the dance floor. It was literally body to body so I went over and I was trying to jump up and grab two more shamrocks to give to somebody else and they kicked all of us out. It was very embarrassing. Like literally in the movies… you know when they grab you by the shirt and kick you out, that’s how we got kicked out.” 

Benjamin Nied, a 2011 Kent State alumnus, laughed when talking about the time an entire street was against him going to class.

“I was living on University (Street) when I was in grad school. I was trying to be a responsible student. I think that year St. Patrick’s Day was on a Thursday or something and… I had an econ class (from) 6 to 8,” Nied said. “I was debating going (to class) but since I was being responsible in grad school I decided to go. The whole walk down the street I was just getting booed by every house for having a backpack on and going to class.” 

Jenna Chilinski, a 2015 Kent State alumna remembered a fun addition to Fake Paddy’s Day was when she went to Ray’s and heard a person playing the bagpipes. She was also proud to say her first time ever doing a keg stand was on Fake Paddy’s Day. 

After blue and gold, green is likely the next fan favorite of colors for Kent students. This year students have time to recover from Fake Paddy’s Day to partake in the actual St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, so be sure to sport your green and catch the bar specials downtown.

The Place is Ray’s.