Everyone has their favorite "bar scene." Some like to dance all night, while others like to kick back with a craft beer and listen to live music. One of the highlights of being back in my hometown of Grand Rapids is discovering all of its downtown bars. While GR is now known as "Beer City," I'm happy to report that its nightlife is on the rise. Below are the bars my friends hit up on the weekends that are great spots to meet young people, bar hop, plan a bachelorette party or rediscover GR.
Is the new place to chill, try a craft beer or two and listen to live music. Its huge outdoor patio and fire pits make it a great hangout spot in the summer. If you're looking for a casual and spacious area to sip a drink or kick off your night downtown, this is the place to go.
Tues: Open Mic Night starting at 8 p.m.
Thurs & Sat: Live music acts (start times and cover charges vary)
GR's famous Big Old Building is a staple for a night out because it hosts seven different venues that offer everything from karaoke to breweries to a nightclub. Its location is also a major plus: right in the heart of downtown by Van Andel Arena.
Cellar:BOB'S BREWERY-Microbrewery with craft beers that features live music and karaoke every weekend. There's usually a younger/college crowd here and fun bar games like giant jenga, cornhole and ping pong.
1st Floor: H.O.M.E-Newest live music venue known for its bourbon bar.
2nd Floor: BOBARINOS-Traditional bar vibe with pool tables, great pizza and live music on Fri & Sat.
4th Floor: EVE-A posh nightclub only open on Fri from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. and until 3 a.m. on Sat. It's an additional $5 cover for guys.
-It's a general $5 cover to get in the building, which includes all venues, but women get in free on Friday.
It's pretty hard to miss the painted rainbow skulls on the outside of my favorite bar in GR. Lucky for you, the eclectic decor doesn't stop on the outside-the bar is covered in graffiti, creepy dolls, and strange knickknacks; old cartoons play on the TV screens and there are even retro arcade games if you're not feeling the bar scene. There's a dance floor and bar downstairs, but be warned that it gets incredibly toasty. I'm never disappointed by the crowd Stella's draws and always have a good time here.
Mon: "The Drunken Retort"-spoken word, comedy and acoustic performances at 8 p.m.
-Stella's is known for its burgers & over 250 kinds of Whiskey
-Its new patio space just opened!
-What I love about Mojo's is how it's like two bars in one. The bottom floor is all about the dueling pianos-where you can hear some of your favorite songs played by the live band. It's a fun time because the band is really interactive with the crowd and you'll be singing along with all the songs that were played at your High School prom. On the 2nd floor, there's another bar, dance floor and great DJ playing today's hits (his playlist is always on point).
Wed: get in for free with a college ID
$3 cover. Dueling pianos happen on Wed & Thurs at 9 p.m., Fri at 8 p.m. and Sat at 7 p.m.
Dance floor is open on Wed, Fri and Sat at 9 p.m.