Nightlife

Location
Columbia, SC
Undergrads
21,646
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Five Points is a fantastic downtown area and Greek life also provides many social events, whether you are involved in Greek life or not.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: There is never nothing to do in Columbia. With all the options of heading downtown or to hang out at The Vista, the options are endless. Transportation is also good, the university has busses that run downtown on weekends in order for students to get home safe.

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5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Downtown the bars are a lot of fun. They're pretty easy to get into even with a shitty fake ID. There are no covers and the drinks are pretty cheap. Free cabs and a shuttle back to campus every Thursday- Saturday. Tailgates are also a huge part of the party scene here too.

3 College Senior

Nightlife: Five points is the really only big party spot unless you want to live that fratastic life. Other wise small to medium house parties are frequent.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Five-Points is the most popular place to go to go out, there are tons of different bars to meet friends at and party.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 4th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 16th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1357th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Gregory Goetz
Hometown
Fort Mitchell, KY
Major
Media Arts/Entrepreneurial Business
View all previous student authors

The nightlife in Columbia revolves mainly around Five Points and the Vista, where bars and clubs are abundant with social students and good times. Drinking is a favorite pastime on weekend nights, which sometimes poses problems for the under-21 crowd. The busiest night of the week, “Thirsty Thursday,” sees students flocking to bars or buying kegs for parties. Underage students sometimes use fake IDs or scope out places that don’t card at all, but they’re still at risk of being caught by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Department (SLED) officers, who sometimes go undercover for the specific purpose of finding underage drinkers.

While almost all of the bars prohibit underage students (and only a few have designated “college nights” for students 18 and up), many of the dance clubs permit entry to the underage crowd. These are a mixed bag in terms of quality, but it does give the younger crowd something to do. Columbia nightlife would be better if there were more places that catered to younger students. Students believe that the best part about nightlife at USC is the numerous bars where they can have a drink. Underage students can participate, and often do, having their fun knowing the possibility of getting caught.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Five Points
  • The Vista
Student Favorites
  • Group Therapy
  • Sharky's at Five Points
  • Village Idiot Pizza & Pub
Other Places to Check Out
  • Dr. Rocco's
  • Goatfeathers
  • Good Times
  • Hunter Gatherer
  • Local's Bar
  • Parrot Head's
  • Pavlov's
  • Publik House
  • Salty Nut
  • The Whig
  • Yesterday's
Local Specialties
Local microbrews: Hunter Gatherer has its own microbrewery and produces some of the best beer in Columbia.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • A$$hole
  • Beer pong
  • Circle of Death
  • F the Dealer
Useful Resources for Nightlife
www.sciway.net/tourism/columbars.html
Closing Time
2 a.m.-3 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Most of the bars in Five Points and the Vista have competitive prices for drinks, with specials on certain nights
Organization Parties
Many organizations on campus throw good parties, particularly athletic and Greek organizations. In most cases, pretty much anyone can go to these by paying a minimal cover for the cost of the alcohol. Depending on the organization, there may or may not be alcohol involved, but either way, organization parties are generally well attended. Several different organizations will have parties on any given weekend, but pretty much the only way to find out about them is by word of mouth.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Jungle Jim's

Jungle Jim's has been a staple to the underage USC crowd for years now. Often the starter-club for freshman at USC, Jungle Jim's is located in the Five Points area and a short walk to and from most freshman dorms. However, its doors are filled to capacity on weekends during the school year.

724 Harden St.

(803) 256-1390

Tabu

Tabu has become one of Columbia's most popular clubs in the past few years for the 18 and older crowd. Located in the Vista, Tabu is often the end destination after a night of eating out at the Vista's many restaurants. Tabu offers Ladies' Night specials-a feature that packs its dance floor every weekend.

700 Gervais St.

(803) 253-6382

www.tabuofcolumbia.com

Jillian's

Jillian's provides a perfect outlet for the dining sports fan, as well as the college student itching for a night out on the town. It is not as college-oriented as many of the clubs in town. It caters to the interest of crowds ranging from college students to middle-aged adults. Some perks include the 15 television monitors and 13 big-screen televisions, as well as a full dining menu and music from DJs and live bands. You must be 21 to get in after 9 p.m., and there is sometimes a cover for special events.

800 Gervais St.

(803) 779-7789

www.jilliansbilliards.com

Club ICE

Club ICE, located in the Vista, is a fairly new club that opens its doors to crowds 18-and-up (alcohol is served to those over 21). Playing some of the best dance music in Columbia, Club ICE has proved very popular with both USC students and the young professionals of Columbia.

920 Lady St.

(803) 765-1574

Headliners

Headliners is the premiere music venue for Columbia and the Vista area. While major bands do not headline the marquee, Headliners brings nationally recognized talent to its stage every weekend (and sometimes during the week). For USC students, tickets are relatively cheap, and is within walking distance from campus.

700 Gervais St.

(803) 796-2333

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Village Idiot Pizza & Pub

The Village Idiot Pizza & Pub doubles as one of Columbia's most popular bars after 9 p.m.

2009 Devine St.

(803) 252-8646

www.villageidiotpizza.com

Art Bar

Despite its name, Art Bar is not an art gallery, though it does constitute one of the most decorative bars in Columbia. Located in the Vista area, this deceivingly large bar is packed every weekend, and has a reputation for attracting Columbia's trendy and intellectual crowd. Its doors are open to adults 21 and older.

1211 Park St.

(803) 929-0198

www.artbarsc.com

Delaney's

Delaney's has a casual Irish atmosphere and live original and acoustic music, both Irish and American styles. The full-menu pub offers a variety of alcoholic beverages, specialty imported beers, desserts, and specialty coffees. There is no age requirement and no cover charge except for special events, making it cheap and easy for college students.

741 Saluda Ave.

(803) 779-2345

www.delaneyspub.com

Group Therapy

Enduring the hustle and bustle of Columbia's nightlife for the past 25 years, Group Therapy knows how to please its customers. While this Group Therapy will not relieve you of your traumatic mental and emotional experiences, you can at least drown your sorrows with a glass of imported beer, although you must be at least 21. They have live music with Acoustic Therapy Thursdays and a DJ on Saturdays.

2107 Greene St.

(803) 256-1203

www.grouptherapybar.com

New Brookland Tavern & Restaurant

Like local music with your bars? In addition to its diverse drink menu, New Brookland Tavern offers its small venue up to Columbia's local bands, including those of USC students. Those 18-and-up may attend a show at New Brookland Tavern.

122 State St.

West Columbia

(803) 791-4413

www.newbrooklandtavern.com

Sharky's at Five Points

At Sharky's, you can choose from over 100 kinds of beers or order from their menu. They have appetizers, wings, calzones, hamburgers, and chicken. It's a convenient place for college students to go, especially since there is no cover, and the minimum age is 18. Or, if you don't feel like leaving your dorm, they offer free delivery by calling 256-BUDS. Their specials include $2 Jim Beam, $2 vodka all the time, and free pizza during happy hour Monday-Friday.

636 Harden St.

(803) 779-8337

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

18-and-up Clubs

Not many of Columbia's bars have under-21 nights; however, multiple clubs are 18 and up. Jungle Jim's, Club Ice, and Tabu are usually packed with an underage crowd for dancing, or people can go catch some live music at either Headliners or New Brookland Tavern.

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 131 responses

  • 2% There are no good options.
  • 29% Use a designated driver.
  • 20% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 0% Public transportation.
  • 19% Taxis.
  • 31% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 130 responses

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

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 132 responses

  • 2% Parties? What parties?
  • 4% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 14% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 60% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 20% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 15 responses

  • 58% Downtown
  • 26% Varies
  • 16% Frat houses

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 19 responses

  • 53% Carolina-Clemson football game!
  • 47% All tailgates

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