Throughout my project, I have been profiling the 15 primary bars in Athens. In the past, I have compiled a list of daily drink specials and specialty drinks at the bars in town. I have also compared the location of the bars in Athens to those in Oxford, OH (Miami University). But the real question is, how do bar employees and Ohio University students feel about the pubs of Athens?
Bar Employee Take
I talked with three Courtside Pizza employees – Mike Casey, Dani Brehun and Julian Howard – to get their take on the bar scene in Athens.
“It makes the party scene available every day of the week and has allowed me to meet so many different people from around campus,” Casey said.
Senior Dani Brehun said her favorite thing is that she can go into almost every bar and see a familiar face or make a new friend.
“The cost of drinks at the bars here are also cheaper than anywhere else,” she said.
The bar scene in Athens can also be different than the bar scene at other MAC schools. Ohio University is known for having a very high number of bars in one confined area off campus.
“Being able to walk into any bar on campus on a busy night and knowing at least one person makes the Athens bar scene more personal [than the bar scene at other schools],” said senior Julian Howard said. “It’s also nice not having to spend a ton of money, but also being able to experience the different bars that cater to what you may be looking for…for instance, bars that cater to Greek life, sports, or even more of a ‘townie’ bar.”
The biggest difference between bars in Athens and the bars at other schools is how close everything is, he said.
“You don’t have to drive or take a taxi to other bars, which also saves students a ton of money,” he said.
“My favorite part about the bar scene in Athens is that all of the people can basically find a reason to go out any day of the week, whether it be some kind of social or just wanting to go out and drink,” said Pigskin employee, J.J. Hrabak.
The pubs of Athens also show a strong representation of Ohio University and its students.
“I feel like every bar has its own personality,” said senior Brett Englehart. “Crystal can be sloppy at times, Lucky’s sort of stays away from Greek life and places like Tony’s and The Skull are a more relaxed atmosphere.”
With new noise ordinances in town and some students staying away from house parties, the bars’ popularity has risen on campus. This spike in popularity is good in some ways, but also detrimental in others.
“Even though they’re a good time, I think the bars have gotten so crowded lately that a lot of people are starting to avoid them,” Englelhart added.
“I think the bars can improve their business with better capacity management,” said senior Matt Battista. “OU has lost its reputation as a house party school and now many of the students flock to the bars on a Friday and Saturday.”
The amount of underage students at the bars on the weekends these days is unreal, he added.
“”As a soon to be graduating senior, I think that the bars should be a privilege for the upperclassmen,” he said.
Nonetheless, Battista said that he still has a great time at the bars every single night that he goes out with friends.
“My favorite part about the bars in Athens is the great deals that they offer on a weekly basis. There are a variety of specials that each bar has,” he said. “My favorite night of the week to go out is Wednesday. Wednesday has some great specials starting with slice night and two dollar Blue Moon’s at Courtside. Pawpurr’s has prime time every night from 8-9pm. I enjoy finishing the night off with a $5 liquor pitcher at Lucky’s.”