Ray’s Place to give away portable bar

Marissa Mikolak

Thursday nights are rockin’ at Ray’s Place in downtown Kent.

“We certainly turn the music up and jam,” owner and manager Charlie Thomas said.

And soon Thursday nights will give students the chance to win prizes, including a grand prize of “your very own Molson pub.”

Ray’s Place will team up with radio station WMMS and Molson to bring The Molson Pub Experience to Ray’s for five Thursdays beginning this week.

“WMMS will be at Ray’s 10 p.m. ’til midnight interacting with the crowd and registering people to win raffle prizes that include a grand prize that will be given out on the final Thursday,” said Rachel Oettinger, account executive at WMMS.

The grand prize will allow one lucky winner to turn their room into a Molson pub.

“Basically they are going to bring in a portable-type bar to give away,” bartender B.J. Melin said.

This is no small prize.

“Among the things that will be included are a pool table, glassware, bar supplies and a dart board,” Thomas said.

But it’s not just prizes that attract people to Ray’s. Students can also enjoy the friendly atmosphere at Ray’s Place every Thursday night.

“They have the most friendly service,” said Vito Conforte, senior criminal justice major. “There’s good people and a great atmosphere.”

Ray’s Place, which first opened its doors in 1937, is known as the oldest bar in downtown Kent.

“Ray’s is the kind of bar where you can honestly say, your grandfather partied here, your father partied here – now you party here,” Thomas said.

The historical bar also is a popular choice for returning alumni.

“I return to Ray’s for the tradition,” 2004 graduate Chas Tabone said. “Friends before me always came here.”

A vintage cooler and cash registers, a giant moose head and old menus that date back to Ray’s early days are among the eclectic decorations that line the walls of this neighborhood bar meets sports bar meets pub.

A mixture of clientele can be found inside the walls of this historic bar at all hours of the day.

“Ray’s is like a melting pot,” Thomas said. “We also serve lunch and dinner and have a late night menu available 10 p.m. to midnight.”

Students may find that Ray’s is the kind of place where anyone can fit in.

“Everybody that comes to Kent can come to Ray’s,” said Jeff Talty, senior tourism management major and “door guy” at Ray’s. “It’s nothing stereotypical.”

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Marissa Mikolak at [email protected].