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5 College Junior

Nightlife: Biggest parties are the frat parties, bars are pretty big too

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There is always someplace to go and have fun if you are interested.

3 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Make the best of it, pretty much. If you're under 21, you're limited to frat parties and dorm-room parties (watch out for the RA). Downtown isn't terrible, but it can get boring if you don't switch it up every now and then.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Once you figure out the phone number system then it's very fun

1 College Junior

Nightlife: Nightlife is kind of terrible if you're not Greek. Greek organizations have parties and mixers and date functions all the time, but they are often exclusive to that social organization. If you are in other non-Greek organizations, you can find house parties, which are fun if you know the people there. The downtown bars are bad, but not exactly geared towards college kids.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 125th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 639th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1251st
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Will Geiger
Brielle, NJ
View all previous student authors

For freshmen and sophomores, Greek life dominates the nightlife, but once students turn 21, the options expand. Winston-Salem has made great strides in the past few years and has a decent downtown scene. Wake Forest has certainly helped by instituting downtown shuttles that go from campus to popular downtown bars. Aside from the bar and frat scene, there are some great art galleries and coffee shops to visit also. If you include all of the different activities and events on campus (as well as studying), you will be hard-pressed to be bored.

Probably the biggest complaint among students is that downtown Winston-Salem is not within walking distance. In fact, there is very little to walk to once you leave Wake's campus. Shuttles and the opening of Shorty's on campus has helped to improve the nightlife even with the absence of a true college town atmosphere like Chapel Hill or Charlottesville.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Burke Street
  • Deacon Boulevard
  • Fourth Street
  • Trade Street
  • University Parkway
Other Places to Check Out
  • Brew Nerds Coffee House
  • Deac 'N Dive
  • First Street Draught House
  • Sixth & Vine
  • West End Tap House
Local Specialties
  • Foothills Sexual Chocolate : This beer has its own release event in February each year when Foothills releases it for a limited time. This chocolate stout packs a punch but is well worth it.
  • Red Oak Beer: Red Oak Beer is a local beer, and it is delicious. The brewery is about 45 minutes east on Interstate 40, but it's well worth the trip.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Flip cup
  • Kings
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
West End Opera House
Organization Parties
Organizations will sometimes rent out a bar or restaurant for a social event. This will be much easier with the creation of "the Barn" which will be an venue, on campus, to host events. Wake Forest also hosts different social events throughout the year. Some of the most popular ones are Shag on the Mag, Seize the Quad, and aWake All Night. Every two years, there is the President's Ball, which is hosted at LJVM Coliseum.
Did You Know?
  • Students who are under 21 can stay and participate in trivia at Foothills Brewing if they arrive before 9 p.m. and eat dinner.
  • If you are interested in artwork, Winston-Salem hosts many gallery hops. It is the North Carolina City of the Arts after all.

Club ListingsWhat's This?


411 N. Cherry St.


(336) 725.8818

Platinum Nightlife

Platinum is a club that is gaining popularity and offers a refreshing departure from the bars that are popular with Wake students.

875 W. Northwest Blvd.


(336) 722-9023


Noma is a departure from other bars in Winston-Salem as it features a more trendy and modern decor. On the weekends, there is a DJ and offers one of the more "club-like" atmospheres in Winston-Salem.

321 W. Fourth St.


(336) 703-5112

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Recreation Billiards

Rec Billiards is a solid bar with (as its name implies) billiards. They have a good selection of beer on tap as well as a pretty cool "basement" area.

412 W. Fourth St.


(336) 725-6006

The Last Resort

The Last Resort is located on Deacon Boulevard near Wake's campus. It is a beach-themed bar and is a popular venue for student/Greek groups to host parties.

513 Deacon Blvd.


(336) 682-6332

West End Opera House

West End Opera House makes up for its shoddy appearance with strong, cheap drinks. On Thursday nights, Opera House is usually filled with Wake Forest students looking to start their weekend earlier. However, the crowd is usually an interesting mix of Wake Forest students and townies. They also have several dart boards and pool tables available.

853 Reynolda Road NW


(336) 721-0083

Shorty's Restaurant

Shorty's is a great place to get a beer (they have local beer and wine) or some food with friends after class. They have a great outdoor patio, which is great when the weather warms up in the spring.

Benson University Center (WFU)


(336) 758-4141

Finnegan's Wake

Finnegan's Wake is a favorite of Wake Forest students. Located on North Trade Street, Finnegan's offers a cozy bar, with a really nice patio in the back. The patio is great in the summer where you can grab a drink outside with friends.

620 N. Trade St.


(336) 723-0322

Burke Street Pub

Burke Street Pub is another popular bar with Wake Forest students. They have some pretty decent drink specials and an outdoor bar. Best of all, it is located right next to Burke Street Pizza where you can grab a great late-night bite to eat.

110 Burke St.


(336) 750-0097

Fox & Hound

Fox and Hound has $2 "pint night" on Tuesdays, but it is more of a generic sports bar that is not frequented by many Wake students.

367 Lower Mall Drive


(336) 722-6000

Foothills Brewing

Foothills Brewing, which is also a restaurant, is a popular spot for its Trivia Nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Be warned: While their local beers are delicious, the restaurant and drinks are quite expensive. Foothills can also be great for under-21 students who can participate in Trivia Night.

638 W. Fourth St.


(336) 777-3348

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

Krankies Coffee

Krankies is a really interesting independent coffee house located downtown. It is a great place to study or hang out with free Wi-Fi and amazing coffee.

211 E. Third St.


(336) 722-3016

Grand Theatre 18

"The Grand" is the best movie theater in Winston-Salem. It has a wide array of movie offerings and really comfy seats. They do have student prices, so make sure to have your Wake ID.

5601 University Parkway


(336) 767-1310

Carmike 10

Carmike is not as nice as The Grand, but is plenty affordable. They have special deals on Tuesdays, which can be great for a study break!

3640 Reynolda Road


(336) 922-1301

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 36 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 36 responses

  • 3% There are no good options.
  • 58% Use a designated driver.
  • 19% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 0% Public transportation.
  • 3% Taxis.
  • 17% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 38 responses

  • 0% Parties? What parties?
  • 5% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 29% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 55% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 11% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 5 responses

  • 50% House parties
  • 50% Off campus frat parties
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