Best of Kent: Bars

Kent resident Kristen Misbrener enjoys the Halloween festivities at the Zephyr Pub on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.

First Place- Zephyr Pub

Located at 106 W Main Street, Zephyr Pub is in the heart of downtown Kent. With three floors, an outdoor patio and a unique atmosphere, it’s easy to see why students and residents would vote Zephyr as Kent’s best bar. 

One of the main things one feels when walking into Zephyr Pub in downtown Kent is options. Zephyr offers wide choices of craft beers and unique drink deals. 

One fan favorite is the “PB&J” which is offered on weeknights for $6. The deal consists of a Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jameson whiskey. “I love the PB&J,” said senior Brandt Kepreos. “I never used to like Pabst, but started drinking it because the deal was so good, and now I love it.”

Even more so than the choice of drinks, Zephyr offers many choices in where to drink it. The pub boasts bars on three floors and a huge patio. “The patio is my favorite place [in Zephyr],” said senior Stephen Saphos. “One of the best places in Kent to watch sports, and it is always a lot fun.”

Zephyr also offers live music, a pool table and welcoming atmosphere. During warmer weather, the patio can be packed with people playing cornhole and other games. 

Second Place- Ray’s Place

Founded in 1937, Ray’s Place has been a beloved bar to undergrads and alumni alike. With two floors with full bars Ray’s has plenty of seating options in its own right. 

Two pool tables on the top floor provide activity for those who don’t like just standing around to drink. Ray’s offers over a hundred bottled beer options, famous Long Island iced teas and a full kitchen open until midnight.

With 64 taps, Ray’s is consistently switching out drafts to make sure visitors have options. 

During weekends like Homecoming and Fake Paddy’s Day, this bar is bound to be crowded. It is a perfect place to grab a beer, eat a burger and watch a sports game. 

Owner Charlie Thomas is popular among visitors and helps create a friendly and familiar environment. He’s owned Ray’s Place for 40 years and said he credits the success to the care the customers and employees have for the business. 

After winning multiple categories in last year’s Best of Kent, Thomas said, “I think we have something for everybody.”

“Whether it’s food or drink, I think we’ve got something,” Thomas said.

Third Place- Water Street Tavern

“You Keep the Cups” drinks offer unique Water Street Tavern options that come in equally unique cups. Emblazoned with negative Yelp reviews that declare Water Street “too busy” or a “college bar.” 

These cups symbolize Water Street’s self-award attitude towards being a college bar. $1 Lady’s Night drinks and communal drinks in fishbowls show they embrace it.

Named after its location at 132 S. Water Street Tavern describes itself as the “premier venue in Kent and beyond for food, drinks and fun.”

Water Street Tavern has something for everyone. With its rooftop patio, private party room, 20 HD TVs, free live music three times a week, food and drink menu, Water Street Tavern is a great place to spend the night at.

Water Street is also the official post-game party headquarters and away-game watch party venue of Kent State University Athletics, making all of those HD TVs come in handy on game days.

The bar is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and the kitchen is open daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Water Street Tavern also offers food delivery through DoorDash. 

Whether you’re here for Blues Night on a Wednesday, to watch the Flashes play or just looking to enjoy a drink on your night out, Water Street Tavern is the place to be.