Raising the Bar: Finding the Best Pub in Bloomsburg

An important part of any university’s image is the bar scene around the campus community. Luckily, Bloomsburg boasts a strong night-time social life for students looking to escape campus for a few hours.  Most students here at Bloomsburg University probably agree, so I felt the need to find out what are the best bars for socializing.

The competition comes down to four establishments: Russell’s and Kristy’s, Harry’s Bar and Grille, Hess’s Tavern, and Good Old Days. Each bar offers something unique, from prices and specials to events and overall atmosphere.

Russell’s and Kristy’s is more of an upscale place, with a classy feel and an exotic collection of beers on tap and in bottles. The bar is split into two sides, Russell’s, which is open seven days a week, and Kristy’s, which is only open during high-traffic times (mainly the weekends, and Wednesday night due to their wing-night special). It is by far the smallest of the four bars, and is generally where students go when they want a quiet atmosphere where they can sit and chat with friends. Russell’s and Kristy’s has a different beer on special every night of the week until midnight, and as previously mentioned, Wing Night Wednesdays, where from 10 p.m. to midnight you can order 10 wings for $2.

On the other end of the spectrum is Harry’s Bar and Grille, which is more of a social setting with two bars, a dance floor, a stage for bands or a DJ, a pool table, dart board, and two television sets. Harry’s, although considerably larger than Russell’s and Kristy’s, comes third in terms of overall space, which can be a problem for some patrons when they become busy. Harry’s has specials every night of the week, from $1 vodka drinks to $2 Jack and coke, but its biggest turnout usually comes Tuesday nights with $1 rum and cokes. They are also the only bar in town where you can purchase 20-ounce bottles of Yuengling Lager (referred to as “bombers”), as well as the only bar with Yuengling’s new bock beer, which isn’t for retail yet. There crowd-pleasing specials coupled with dual bars and various entertainment keep Harry’s packed, and not just on the weekends.

Next up is Hess’s Tavern, the largest of the four bars (just barely edging out Good Old Days). Hess’s is a two-floor bar, with their main bar and dance floor on the first level, and two more bars and a second dance floor in the basement. Hess’s Tavern lives up to its name in giving you that old tavern feel, with a giant HDTV near the main bar. Hess’s generally does not have specials, and only has a DJ Friday and Saturday night, which keeps the bar quiet during the week. But what they lack in specials and events, Hess’s makes up for in versatility and floor space. Hess’s can house tons of patrons between its three bars and two dance floors, and every weekend, they pour in. Patrons have the option of sitting at the main bar for that tavern feel, or can hit the one of the other two bars and dance floors to get a club experience.

Last up is Good Old Days, which, like Hess’s Tavern, has two floors and multiple bars making it one of the bigger establishments. The main floor is more of a country-western type bar, with video poker, a pool table, and on certain nights, karaoke. When customers are not singing on the karaoke machine, usually country songs can be heard over the jukebox. On the weekends, Good Old Days, which is commonly referred to as “GOD’s”, opens up the second floor, which has its own bar, and dance floor, and is setup more as a hip-hop club, with its only special: $5 pitchers of Yuengling Premium. You can also find two pool tables on the second floor as well.

Each establishment has its own strengths and weakness, advantages and disadvantages. Russell’s and Kristy’s is a quiet, classy place with great specials to sit and be with friends, but don’t bring too many because its bar area is small. Good Old Days has multiple bars, plenty of space, and a country and hip-hop bar to accommodate different preferences. But if you’re on a budget, watch out. The only special at “GOD’s” is their sub-par Yuengling Premium. Hess’s, much like Good Old Days, has lots of floor space with multiple bars and dance floors, but lack of specials, minimal entertainment, and small weekday turn-outs could be a turn-off. If you want to have a good time at Hess’s, be sure to show up on the weekend. Sunday through Thursday, you’re on your own.

Each bar has something different to offer, and their differences help ensure almost any Bloomsburg student will find what they’re looking for. At the end of the day, if you want everything these bars have to offer wrapped into one, make your way to Harry’s Bar and Grille. In my opinion, Harry’s edged out the other three due to their great specials all week, multiple bars, entertainment and all around great atmosphere. But don’t take my word for it, get out there, find out for yourself, and have a beer for me.

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