Introducing a new feature (a feature): Damn Arbor's guide to Ann Arbor. With this feature we will attempt to provide a useful guide for the discerning graduate student/20-something living in this fine city.
Today's feature: bars that don't suck.
Old Town: classic and understated, with a full bar, a good selection of beer and above average food. Whether you are going for a drink or making an evening out of it, it's hard to go wrong with Old Town
ABC: Arbor Brewing Company for the uninformed. ABC makes some great beers and pours tall pints. The food is delicious and predominantly local. Make sure to try the monthly specials (both brewed and cooked). Monday's "happy hour" all day is a steal.
The 8 Ball: if you want cheap beer, free popcorn and an edgy vibe, this is your place. It makes a great stop for a night cap if you are walking home to the West Side. The 8-Ball has everything you would expect from an establishment that refers to its self as a "saloon."
The Circus: $1 PBR on Wednesday's Bluegrass Night draws a hip(ster) crowd. WARNING: The Circus/Cavern Club may have the worst webpage in existence--click at your own risk.
Jolly Pumpkin: specializing in avant-garde beer and classy food, JP draws a slightly older crowd, but it makes for a nice change of pace if you have been going to The 8-Ball all week.
Dominick's: Main Street prices in the South U. neighborhood. Dominick's offers a good selection of Michigan Beers and its back garden cannot be beat for outdoor drinking on a perfect summer night.
Ashley's: most extensive beer selection in town. Unfortunately, they don't sell pitchers.
Photo of beer sampler at Jolly Pumpkin via: Bernt Rostad