Allendale, MI
Tuition (in-state)
$14,568 ($10,078)
Admission Difficulty
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College Sophomore

Nightlife: I have never attended any bars our nightlife outing in the year I have been. Being under 21 doesn't sound fun to go partying so I have never done it.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: More house parties than bars and clubs, unless you go to Grand Rapids

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Lots of bars and a few decent clubs, as well. It's always fun to go out downtown!

3 College Senior

Nightlife: I do not really party anymore. Freshman year it was pretty easy to find parties, there were drugs and alcohol and what not. Not really a positive experience. As time went on I partied less, you learn where and where not to drink based on safety. The parties that Grand Valley throws though, I hear they are fun and positive experiences!

College Junior

Nightlife: I do not know about the night life because I do not live on campus and I work almost every night.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 628th
    Tamest Party Scenes
  • 746th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 768th
    Best Drink Prices

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Audrey Rosenau
Rochester Hills, MI
Hospitality and Tourism
View all previous student authors

Grand Rapids offers a wide range of pubs and nightclubs. Many are 21-and-up only or stop admitting people under 21 at a certain time of night, but the gay bars—Diversions, Rumors, and Throwbacks—generally admit anyone 18 and older (but have strict alcohol policies). Mojo's Dueling Piano Bar and Flanagan’s are popular pubs, while The B.O.B. offers a dance club and multiple restaurants. The B.O.B. (which stands for "Big Old Building") is one building with many different areas/venues, and each has its own age requirements. The Main St. Pub, Peppino's, and Uccello's are restaurants/bars that are close to campus and offer a range of beverages. Student parties are generally off campus and easy to find. On-campus parties are more rare and kept quiet, since police are more likely to find them.

While Downtown Grand Rapids and Allendale are relatively safe, it is still important to go out with trusted friends, and if you're underage, you should never attempt to order a drink anywhere. However, even for students who are underage or do not wish to drink, the local nightclubs and the occasional party can be fun. Although many students are hesitant to try the gay bars, these establishments are some of the better nightlife options in Grand Rapids and prove to be worth the trip.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
Downtown Grand Rapids
Other Places to Check Out
  • Applebee's Neighborhood Grill
  • Diversions Night Club
  • J. Gardella's Tavern
  • McFadden's Restaurant-Saloon
  • Monte's Lounge
  • Rumors Night Club
  • S Nightclub
  • Sixx Nightclub
  • T.G.I. Friday's
  • Throwbacks
  • Uccello's Ristorante, Pizzeria & Sports Lounge
Local Specialties
  • Founders Brewing Company beer: Founders has a wide variety of brews, but the Kentucky Breakfast Stout is especially popular.
  • Pink Drink: In the Yellow Jacket Inn, one of the finest drinks ever concocted awaits you. Yes, my friends, the legendary Pink Drink is inside. Served in a mini-pitcher, there are no less than six shots of clear liquor and pink lemonade mixed together. It might sound gross, but it's great. Depending on who's working that night, you may or may not just get knocked right on your butt with the strength of your drink.
  • Pink Lady: Available at the Main St. Pub
  • Skittles: Available at the Main St. Pub
Favorite Drinking Games
Beer pong
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Main St. Pub or Peppino's Pizzeria & Sports Grille

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Crush Nightclub

Crush is a sleek club located inside The B.O.B.

20 Monroe Ave. NW

Grand Rapids

(616) 356-2000

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Mulligan's Pub

Great drink specials until 8 p.m. every night!

1518 Wealthy St. SE

Grand Rapids

(616) 451-0775

Mojo's Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant

In addition to dueling piano shows, Mojo's offers a full menu and drink specials.

180 Monroe Ave. NW

Grand Rapids

(616) 776-9000

Tavern on the Square

Located in the former Black Rose, Tavern on the Square has heated patios and a good beer list.

100 Ionia Ave. SW

Grand Rapids

(616) 456-7673

Peppino's Pizzeria & Sports Grille

Peppino's has nightly drink specials and two daily happy hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close.

5065 Lake Michigan Dr.


(616) 895-1615

Main St. Pub

Domestic bottled beer is $2 on Saturdays, and there are other great drink and food specials every other night, as well.

11240 University Parkway


(616) 895-1234

Flanagan's Irish Pub

This Irish pub is a popular spot.

139 Pearl St.

Grand Rapids

(616) 454-7852

The B.O.B.

B.O.B. stands for "Big Old Building," which is an accurate name for this 70,000-square-foot spot! There are different venues inside, including lounges, a brewery, and a comedy club.

20 Monroe Ave. NW

Grand Rapids

(616) 356-2000


HopCat is a beer-lover's dream. It focuses on Michigan beers, but it also offers a range of other brews. There's also an outdoor deck for when the weather is nice.

25 Ionia Ave. SW

Grand Rapids

(616) 451-4677

Founders Brewing Co.

This brewery offers numerous selections on tap (check out the website to see what's currently being offered).

235 Grandville Ave. SW

Grand Rapids

(616) 776-1195

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Eastown Hookah Lounge

This is a popular hangout for underage students and "of age" students alike.

1522 Wealthy St. SE

Grand Rapids

(616) 456-6664

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 123 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 107 responses

  • 3% There are no good options.
  • 39% Use a designated driver.
  • 25% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 21% Public transportation.
  • 3% Taxis.
  • 8% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 117 responses

  • 21% Parties? What parties?
  • 20% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 35% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 22% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 2% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 25 responses

  • 52% 48 west
  • 30% Copper Beach
  • 12% Mystic
  • 3% Conifer Creek
  • 3% Frat Houses

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 38 responses

  • 45% Welcome week
  • 34% President's Ball
  • 21% Homecoming Game & Final Exam Week


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