Saturday, October 2, 2010

Guide to Ann Arbor: bars that don't suck

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


  1. Babs Underground Lounge is the place to be! The best bar in Ann Arbor. The city has a great nightlife, and Babs is at the head of the class. Great drinks, awesome martinis, and a beautiful VIP room to make you feel like a boss. Live music ties it all together. A hip, sophisticated place like none other, featuring free pool tables, with a stunning website to match,

  2. slight misspelling under Ashley's. I believe you meant *expensive* :)

  3. John Seamans (johnny_five)May 26, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Nice list! next you should compile a list of the worst bars bars in A2 :0 Ricks?

    Other decent establishments might include: the den, babs, elks lodge if i've had enough to drink, live or gracies if they actually have live music playing (so not that often).

  4. Suggested addition:
    Mash. Half off home brews after 10pm on weekdays and some of the most knowledgeable staff in town... at least about whiskey.

    1. This might have to be updated but I agree with Mash.

  5. Can anyone name any Ann Arbor bars that do not really serve food (no real kitchen...)? Thanks.