On campus bar has karaoke, Xbox

Brindi Bays

The Rathskeller is located on the lower level of the Student Center. It features a full-service bar. DAVID RANUCCI | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Looking for a variety of entertainment, a relaxed atmosphere for studying or just a place to grab a quick drink?

If so, head over to the Student Center and stop by the Rathskeller, the only on-campus, full-service bar.

“Students stop in between classes to grab some drinks and relax,” said Marlene Maneage, manager of the lower level of the Student Center.

Located in the lower level, the Rathskeller is open Monday through Saturday 5 to 11 p.m., and it has just had a summer makeover.

For this fall, the Rathskeller made a few changes to make the space more accommodating for students.

Instead of focusing on the bar aspect, the Rathskeller has taken out many tables and chairs and added couches to make a more relaxed hangout, Maneage said.

“We’re very excited because this is something new and unusual for the Rat,” she said.

Also new this fall are the extended pizza hours.

Pete’s Arena, located inside the Rathskeller, has decided to extend its hours to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Elizabeth Worthington, senior journalism and mass communication major, said she likes to study at the Rathskeller because of its environment.

“I usually can find a quiet corner, and the location is perfect because I have everything I need in the Student Center,” she said.

Last year, the Rathskeller added Xbox 360, allowing students to check-out one of 12 wireless controllers by exchanging their FlashCard at the bar. The games range from Madden to Final Fantasy, with a selection of a few older games, too.

“If we don’t have a game students want, they can always suggest it to the bartender and we’ll see what we can do,” said Mike Musial, a manager trainee for dining services.

If students have an account, they can also play locally, nationally or internationally on the web-enabled version of Xbox 360, Musial said.

This fall, students will be able to sign-up for Xbox 360 tournaments at the Student Center’s programming office, which is located in the lower level of the student center.

During the past year, the no smoking issue has left an impact on the Rathskeller. Because the bar has seen fewer students as a result of the law, Maneage and the Student Center Program has teamed up with Kent United Services Organization to get the word out with fliers and Web postings.

“We want to raise awareness to the students that a place like this is available to them right here on campus,” Maneage said.

Stacy Stewart, former manager of KSC Programming, said her team looks for new ideas for the bar and takes the suggestions to the director.

“We give a proposal on what’s popular and what we know students like,” she said.

Student organizations also have the advantage of reserving the Rathskeller for their events. The bar is a great place for meetings, socials and formal dances, Stewart said.

Along with video games, the “Rat” offers Krazy Karaoke every Thursday night from 9 to 11:30 p.m. Over the past years, the karaoke was a competition with prizes such as gift cards and DVD players.

“We’ve dropped the competition part because people were intimidated with the judging,” Stewart said.

Now, students are able to let loose and sing for fun and have the opportunity to win door prizes.

Students can use FlashCash, cash or credit cards to pay for alcohol at the bar, as dining plan money cannot be used. The bar does however accept the dining plan for the appetizers on the bar menu.

“There’s nothing better than beer and fried food,” said Autumn Piller, marketing manager for dining services.

The Rathskeller provides students with live bands, as well as sporting events broadcast on a dozen televisions.

The bar has held special events for Monday Night Football, Kent State basketball and World Wrestling Entertainment events on Sunday nights. It even hosted a Grammy party, Piller said.

“It’s a great way to bring students and their friends into the Rat,” she said.

Contact entertainment reporter Brindi Bays at [email protected].