Best place for the under-21 crowd


Yasmeen Matthews

The Burnt Pickle is located at 1655 E. Main St.

Kelsie Horner, Digital Tech

FIRST: The Burnt Pickle

The Burnt Pickle off East Main Street is the only bar in Kent that allows customers 18 years old and older. The bar has been open since September 2021. 

The pot holds karaoke nights every Wednesday and country nights featuring line dancing every Thursday. There are also drink specials, like a vodka cranberry for $1, throughout the week for those 21 years old and up. The Burnt Pickle also holds other monthly events. 

Owner John McNeil said he wants his bar to be a welcoming space. 

“We just want kids to have a safe place to hang out with their friends,” said owner John McNeil.

McNeil said The Burnt Pickle also works closely with the university, working with fraternities and sororities for events and fundraisers. 

“We try to be involved with the Kent State community as much as we can,” McNeil said. 

The Burnt Pickle is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 2 a.m. and Sundays noon to midnight. McNeil said he hopes they will add a food menu in the future. 

Riley Vickerts, a sophomore public relations major, said she enjoys going to the bar.  

“I love the atmosphere of the place. Everyone you know goes there and it’s different because they have karaoke night on Wednesdays that everyone goes too,” sophomore public relations major Riley Vickerts said.

SECOND: Kent Lanes

Kent Lanes features 24 bowling lanes, two sand volleyball courts and full-kitchen dining. People can also host parties and events for families, clubs and groups.  Kent Lanes is open seven days a week. 

Rates are $3 per game on weekdays before 5 p.m. and $4 everyday after 5 p.m. After 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, the rate is $5. Shoe rentals everyday are $3. 

Joe Wittman bowls at Kent Lanes, located at 1524 S. Water St. (Janson McNair)

The alley hosts bowling specials every day of the week, including $12 unlimited bowling Monday through Thursday and $15 unlimited bowling Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1p.m. Shoe rentals are included. 

“We have a discount price because it starts later, which attracts the students,” owner Jim Palmer said. “We also have a full kitchen with two full menus. The kitchen is open late so students who want to get something to eat are able to.”

Kent Lanes also hosts bowling leagues throughout the year. 

The alley has offered bowling in Kent for over 64 years. Palmer said he and his staff work often with Kent State students and clubs for fundraising events and get-togethers.

“We feel very connected to the city and the university,” said Palmer. 

THIRD: The Kent State Recreation and Wellness Center

The Kent State Recreation and Wellness Center offers fitness programs in various forms such as group exercise classes, intramural sports and a fully-equipped aquatic center. It also has treadmills, workout machines, a large weight room and a rock climbing wall. 

“Our goal is to provide an opportunity for students to improve their own health and wellness at whatever that capacity may be,” said Jim Kraus, Senior Assistant Director for guest services and marketing. 

Patrons walk and jog on the top level of the Rec Center March 15, 2023. (Yasmeen Matthews)

The Rec Center focuses on physical health for students and also their mental health, Kraus said.  

The Rec recently introduced a new addition called the “relax space,” which provides students with a reclining chair and a calming screen-saver to reduce anxiety and stress. 

There is also Summit Street Cafe, which sells sandwiches, salads and smoothies, inside the Rec. FlashCard and credit card are accepted. 

“We have an overall emphasis on safe and clean facilities, and providing a supportive environment,” Kraus said.

The Rec Center is open daily and is free for all Kent State students taking five or more credit hours at the Kent campus.

Kelsie Horner is a digital tech. Contact her at [email protected]