Weekend Bar Guide



Rachel Hagenbaugh

Weekends are a busy time for downtown Kent. With all the people venturing to the bars, not all are looking for the same experience. Some want to party, while others attempt to relax and put the stressful week behind them. Each Kent bar has its niche, but it’s not the kind of people that separate one bar from the other. It’s the mood each person is in that influences them to choose one bar or the other.

Water Street Tavern

It’s often the first stop of the night for many students because it’s located near Kent’s downtown parking lot. Its clean, laid-back atmosphere is a good place to start out. This bar hosts live bands on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays that range from classic rock to blues music. Cajun Dave’s, located inside Water Street Tavern, has food specials every day of the week. Mike Fuller, manager of operations, said the food is

“homemade, southern-style comfort food.”

“College kids often miss out on the food because they don’t know about it,” he said.

The Zephyr

Most of the bars in Kent have a patio. This one hosts a patio on each of its three floors. Dave Passarelli, bartender/barback, said with all the patio space, there’s always room for people to walk around. The Zephyr hosts live bands every Wednesday. Passarelli said the bands usually play original songs and range from basic rock to heavy metal.

The Loft

Free peanuts and signature drinks The Hulk and Rocket Pop attract a melting pot of people to this bar. The wooden walls and booths give this bar a mellow, rustic atmosphere until about 11 p.m. — when it turns into one giant party. Students can find some great deals on the monthly special list. For September The Loft will serve $2 vodka tonics and $2.50 cherry and grape bombs and $3 Rocket Pops.

Ray’s Place

It didn’t attract the attention of Food Network, “Playboy” and Fox 8 for no reason. With burgers, soups, salads, desserts, more than 20 appetizers and sandwiches and an extensive selection of beer, there’s something for everyone at Ray’s Place.

The downstairs is a mellower place where the tenants can enjoy their food and have a good time. The second floor is where the action is. With its brick walls, pool tables and loud music, it feels like a party in someone’s basement.


It’s between Ray’s Place and Venice in location and atmosphere. Dominick’s hosts a slightly older crowd than some of the other bars, so it’s a little more laid back. It’s a nice place to wind down, watch a sports game or play pool with a few friends.

Venice Cafe

Make it past the awkward scent at the door, and Venice Cafe can be a rather enjoyable place. The music isn’t overbearingly loud, and there are pool tables, darts and plenty of room to socialize. The signature drink at this bar, which comes with cotton candy, is the Lady Gaga shot. The alcohol is cheap, but be open to negotiation because it’s sometimes out of the most popular selections.

The Brewhouse

Speaking of cheap alcohol, welcome to the only bar that’s 18+ every day. The Brewhouse features 99 cent frozen margaritas Tuesday, 99 cent long island iced teas Thursday and a 50 cent quarter pound hot dog on Monday nights during football season.

The Brewhouse also serves a mug of Keystone for 75 cents or a pitcher for $2.99. Cherry and grape bombs are $1.25. Absorb some of those cheap drinks with free popcorn every night of the week.


See a variety of live bands on Friday and Saturday nights at JB’s. Some of the bands are local, but the music ranges from rock to country, said owner Jimmy Tribuzzo. With so many great musicians starting their careers at JB’s, it’s worth it to see the new talent that could be rock stars in ten years. Tribuzzo said Joe Walsh, DEVO and Glass Harp began their careers playing at JB’s.

Tribuzzo said other great musicians like Eric Carmen and the Raspberries, Ted Nugent, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have all played at JB’s.

“There’s a lot of history here at JB’s, and that’s what makes the place great,” Tribuzzo said.


There is a new trend at Mugs called Sunday Funday on the patio from 2 to 6 p.m., featuring $2 hamburgers, $1 hot dogs, $2 Pinnacle shots and $2 16 oz. cans.

“It’s always busy on Fridays and Saturdays, and we want that energy to carry through Sunday,” said bartender Abby Drake.

Every bar has its atmosphere, and Mug’s is the club scene, Drake said. The second floor includes a dance floor, pool table and bar. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night a DJ spins on the second floor, while a live band plays on the patio.

Drake said Wednesdays are a popular night for Mugs because of the $1 cherry and grape bombs and $2 domestic bottles of beer.

Contact Rachel Hagenbaugh at [email protected].