Nightlife

Location
Undergrads
18,378
Tuition (in-state)
$17,776 ($9,816)
Admission Difficulty
Easy
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Reviews

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College Sophomore

Nightlife: I have not taken part in the nightlife at Kent State so I honestly wouldn't know.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Downtown is a great place to go- cool places to eat and the hookah bar.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Nightlife: The party scene at Kent State University is very noticeable. It has both positive and negative effects from what I've seen. It has been great personally in my effort to make friends and have fun. Downtown Kent is a nice place to explore and have a good time.

College Sophomore

Nightlife: I am not a party girl, I'm usually either in my room or dorm lounge. I'd rather seat around and play video games and watch movies, then go to a party where I don't know anyone.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Though I've only ever been to one party, we have a fairly large downtown area that I know a lot of the upper class-men utilize, but as far as under class-men go, a good frat party will satisfy.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 58th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 320th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1314th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Andrew Rasner
Hometown
Sagamore Hills
Major
Architecture
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

For students of legal drinking age, Kent's nightlife consists mainly of house parties and bars, and due to the college-town setting, there is an abundance of them. You'll find that different crowds tend to frequent different bars, either for the drinks they serve, the music they play, or the company they offer. There are a few clubs in Kent, although you won't find what you would expect near a university in an urban setting. That being said, Kent's proximity to Cleveland and Akron offers city slickers a relatively close escape for the weekend. For underage students, bars aren't really an option, though most of the clubs in the area have 18-and-up nights. However, the center of underage nightlife is undoubtedly the house party, where thirsty students can take advantage of free (but usually bad) brews and crowded dance floors to get their weekend kicks. 

However, this isn't to say that drinking is necessary to have a good time in Kent. If you're involved, there are always things to do, whether they involve partying or not. How your weekends are spent depends solely on whom you surround yourself with, and those who prefer not to drink can rest assured, knowing that there are a myriad of options, both on and off campus, for underage students. 

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Akron
  • Cleveland
  • Downtown Kent
Other Places to Check Out
  • Brewhouse Pub
  • The Dusty Armadillo
  • Eldorado's Pizza Pie
  • EuroGyro
  • Firefly Bar
  • Guaca-Moles Mexican Grill & Cantina
  • Main Street Tavern
  • Mike's Place
  • Professor's Pub
  • The Pufferbelly Restaurant
Local Specialties
Great Lakes Brewing Co.: Great Lakes Brewing Co. is located up in Cleveland and is a local favorite. The company's "Christmas Ale" is undoubtedly the most popular drink once the temperature drops.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (especially Kings)
  • Flip cup
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Cleveland Scene
  • Daily Kent Stater
  • kentwired.com
Closing Time
2:30 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Water Street Tavern
Organization Parties
Parties are hosted by organizations on campus, but most likely, they won’t be widely advertised. You’ll probably only be invited if you’re a member of the group.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

JB's Dance Club & Bar

This club has everything from country nights to rock shows and metal concerts.

246 N. Water St.

Kent

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Stone Tavern

Stone Tavern is a relatively new addition to Kent's bar scene, and it's ambitious in its attempts to bring a new dimension to the local music scene. It has an artistic flavor, with local art blanketing the walls and a mix of genres performing several nights a week, with some comedy shows sprinkled in for good measure.

110 E. Main St.

Kent

(330) 677-7320

Ray's Place

Ray's is by far the most renowned place in Kent. It's been around for a long time, and when former Kent State student Drew Carey comes to Kent, this is the bar he visits. It's a classic American place, with big portions of food and drafts to boot. Students, alumni, and locals head to Ray's to catch up with friends and cheer on their teams. On certain nights, the bar is standing room only.

135 Franklin Ave.

Kent

(330) 673-2233

www.raysplacekent.com

Zephyr Pub & Spirits

Zephyr is Kent's indie bar. The music is achingly hip, the liquor hard, and the jeans slim. It has three floors and one of the best patios in town. The patrons are generally more mature than in other places-this isn't a place for frat boys or sports fans. This is where the artistic crowd congregates, in an atmosphere that drips cool. Drink specials change monthly, but there's always a $1 special.

106 W. Main St.

Kent

(330) 678-4848

Water Street Tavern

Water Street Tavern (formerly "Glory Days") caters to Kent's fraternity scene. While the Greeks love it, the art crowd avoids it like a name brand. Typical dress includes anything with Greek letters, popped collars, and ripped designer jeans. The highlight of the bar is the jukebox, playing anything from Weezer to Neil Diamond to Kanye West. Water Street Tavern plays host to official Kent State athletic post-game events, too. It also has $5 pitchers, and the service is somewhat less than legendary.

132 S. Water St.

Kent

(330) 677-0700

www.waterstreettavern.com

Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar

Buffalo Wild Wings is an excellent place to get good drinks and great food. It's a chain, so most will already know that this is a great place to watch a game and eat some great wings. The outdoor patio is very spacious, and it's a great place for a relaxing night with friends.

227 Franklin Ave.

Kent

(330) 678-9464

www.buffalowildwings.com

157 Lounge

157 leans toward the upscale, being more reminiscent of a NYC club than a college-town bar. The interior is starkly modern, and it's one of the few bars in town to have a dance floor (and a pretty good one at that). Its beer selection is limited, since the atmosphere lends itself more to cocktails and mixed drinks.

157 S. Water St.

Kent

(330) 678-1577

157lounge.com

Mugs Brew Pub & Sports Grill

Mugs is a two-story indoor and outdoor bar with large televisions for catching the game with some friends. On the weekends, it's packed with a wide assortment of people. There are bars on both levels, with a dance floor and pool tables on the top level.

211 Franklin Ave.

Kent

(330) 673-7822

www.mugsbrewpub.com

The Loft

The Loft used to be known for its gritty mix of townies and students, but cheap drinks have made it attract a large variety of crowds. Some nights, the overflow from Ray's makes it nearly impossible to get in. Oh yeah, and there are $5 pitchers.

112 W. Main St.

Kent

(330) 678-0391

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

JB's Dance Club & Bar

JB's is the only club in Kent with underage admittance. For those of age, the alcohol is cheap but of poor quality. JB's is a Top 40 dance club on some nights and a rock concert venue on others.

246 N. Water St.

Kent

Student Polls

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

Very poor
Excellent
  • 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 121 responses

  • 55% Walk.
  • 7% Taxis.
  • 5% Public transportation.
  • 12% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 17% Use a designated driver.
  • 4% There are no good options.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 125 responses

  • 10% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 53% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 26% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 3% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 8% Parties? What parties?

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

  • 31% University Street
  • 29% College Street
  • 20% Off Campus Fraternity Houses
  • 16% Main St
  • 4% Grant St

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 29 responses

  • 52% Halloween
  • 34% Homecoming
  • 10% St Patricks Day
  • 3% Fall Fest

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