Party Scene

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Party Scene


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4 College Student

Party Scene: I've heard from my upperclassmen friends that the bar scene around UK is awesome but I can't go for another year and a half. Parties happen almost every weekend with fraternities and I know that underage drinking does happen on UK's campus. In terms of non-alchoholic nightlife in general UK's campus is right next to downtown Lexington which makes things like the Kentucky Theatre, shopping, and restaurants very accessible.

4 College Student

Party Scene: I haven't been to any fraternity parties on UK's campus but I know that they occur almost every weekend. Usually State Street is packed around March Madness and if anyone watches CNN you'll probably see a bunch of UK students burning couches (for some reason) whether Kentucky wins or loses. I would say the party scene gives some students something to look forward to that gets them motivated for the weekend.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: There seems to always be something going on at night on campus no matter what the day is. Some people go to bars while others have study parties at the library. Either way, people on campus seem to stay somewhat safe and under control.

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3 College Freshman

Party Scene: I do not really go to the parties on campus, but I have heard that they always involve getting drunk and are always on south campus.

5 College Freshman

Party Scene: Parties, studying, practicing, or just chilling with friends....oh yeah, and sleeping for most of the time :)


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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If you are an underage student at Kentucky, prepare to get funny looks from bouncers at bars when they eye your fake ID like a UK professor eyes a plagiarized term paper. There will be plenty of house parties around campus to go to, but be prepared for anything. Most students go to apartments first and hit the house parties around 10 or 11 p.m. Staying out until 2 or 3 a.m. isn’t unusual, unless the police show up to clear house. If you are of age, Lexington has a wide variety of clubs of various sizes and styles for everyone.

If all else fails, you can always drive to Cincinnati or Louisville to experience the bars and clubs in larger cities. Bar hours in Lexington have been extended from 1 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., so you will actually get the chance to stay out a bit longer than generations of Kentucky students before you.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Around campus
  • Downtown
Student Favorites
  • Cheapside Bar and Grill
  • Kitty O'Shea's
  • Two Keys Tavern
Other Places to Check Out
  • Austin City Saloon
  • Buster's
  • The Dame
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Categories
  • Flip cup
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
Closing Time
2:30 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Any bar that’s having a specials night, they vary constantly
Did You Know?
A ban on smoking has been placed on bars in Lexington, but the city extended bar hours until 2:30 a.m.

Bar ListingsWhat's This?


This bar is smaller and more downtown than near campus, but definitely worth it if you're not looking for an overcrowded night out. Watch for live music performances from the owner, Larry Redmon.

269 W. Main St.

(859) 252-5802

Rosebud Bar and Scarlet Lounge

Rosebud Bar and Scarlet Lounge are actually two bars that operate adjacent to one another. Rosebud is usually filled with college students on the weekends, while Scarlet Lounge is a little swankier and tends to cater to a more yuppie crowd (as well as the occasional celebrity). They're both stylish places, though, and the walls are covered with interesting artwork. Cover is usually $5 at the door.

121 N. Mill St.

(859) 254-1907

Two Keys Tavern

One of the most popular places for UK students, as it has a mix of dancing and just drinking. The cost is average, and there are pool tables and a dance floor, as well as an outside drinking area. There's a bar outside and one inside. The tavern also opens up for a comedy night once a week. Two Keys is nearly a guarantee for a good time. Make sure to get there early as it gets crowded the later it gets.

333 S. Limestone


McCarthy's Irish Bar

This popular Irish bar has an atmosphere as laid-back and Irish as Dublin itself. It's owned by an Irishman, employees have the accent . . . overall, the bar has an authentic and eclectic feel. Make sure to get to McCarthy's for a quieter, cozy, Guinness-filled scene.

117 S. Upper St.

(859) 258-2181

Banana Joe's

Every night, after the drinks stop flowing, this dance party opens up to everyone ages 18 and up.

509 W. Main St.

(859) 255-8863

Cheapside Bar and Grill

Cheapside features live music almost every night of the week, as well as affordable eats. Almost every night of the week, Cheapside's has a drink special. Check their Web site for updates and upcoming events!

131 Cheapside

(859) 254-0046

Kitty O'Shea's

This little bit o'Ireland features live Irish music every Tuesday night.

381 S. Limestone

(859) 255-3078

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

House parties, campus activities, bowling, movies. Banana Joe's is 18 and up after-hours when the alcohol is no longer served. In Richmond, there are bars and clubs where students only have to be 18 to party.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 187 responses

Very poor
  • 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 180 responses

  • 5% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 35% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 38% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 11% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 11% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 127 responses

  • 67% March Madness on State Street
  • 10% Fraternity rush week.
  • 9% March Madness at BDubs
  • 8% Football season
  • 6% K week/ Big Blue madness



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