Top 7 relationships in Athens, Ohio

We have all heard about the Hollywood celebrity dating scene, but I bet you didn’t know we have our own celebrity couples in Athens, Ohio. The rich and famous have made their way to our college town and I bet you run into them more than you think. That’s right, I’m talking about the bars and restaurants that are open after dark. We crowd them, take pictures, and follow their every move. You have been so focused on your favorite that I’m sure you haven’t noticed that they are all secretly in relationships. It’s true, and we have the inside scoop for you!

JACKIEOS_UPTOWN

Jackie-O’s and Uptown Grill

Let’s start with two of the most famous establishments in Athens, Jackie-O’s and Uptown Grill. These love birds have been eyeing each other from across the street for years. After hanging out, listening to music, and enjoying the unique beers Jackie-O’s has, you can walk down the street and order the famous Chicken and Waffle sandwich. This is one couple you do not want to mess with.

CASA_MAMMAS

Big Mamma’s Burritos and Casa Nueva

Big Mamma’s Burritos and Casa Nueva is one couple that is juat too hot to ignore. They are both so bold, but together would be a powerhouse. If you start to get hungry after too many margaritas, your next stop should be Big Mamma’s for one of their signature burritos. While there is a separation between them, these star crossed lovers can’t be separated. Te amo!

DP_BRO

Broney’s Alumni Grill and D.P. Dough

Our next couple may be long distance, but Broney’s Alumni Grill and D.P. Dough will always be close at heart. With the word “alumni” in the name, it’s safe to assume that a lot of alums visit while reliving their glory days. Since they are veterans, they know how to beat the hangovers. They can order their calzones and meet it in the hotel, just in time for bed!

TONYS_INSOM

Tony’s and Insomnia Cookies

What is better than cookies and coffee? Nothing. Tony’s and Insomnia Cookies is a match made in Heaven. After drinking a Hot Nut, a mixture of coffee and liquor, the only thing that would make your night better would be a warm cookie! The best part is that Insomnia is open until 3 am, so you can pick it up on your way home!

KISERS_PIGSKIN

Pigskin and Kisers on Court BBQ

Life would be a “boar” without Pigskin and Kiser’s BBQ together. This relationship was a no brainer. Nothing goes together like beer, BBQ, and country music. These two have just that! Kiser’s on Court is now open until 3 am on Friday and Saturday. This combination would be the perfect “cure” for any weekend night!

USD_SKULL_CATSD

Union Street Diner, Cat’s Den, and The Smiling Skull

Here in Athens, Ohio, we don’t judge. When we heard that Union Street Dinner, Cat’s Den, and The Smiling Skull were in a relationship together, we welcomed them with open arms. All three of these places are located on Union Street and you can’t have one without the other. While these bars are considered “townie” bars, students just can’t resist them. After listening to the music and sitting on the patio, the only other logical stop would be the dinner. Thankfully it’s open 24/7.

BW3

Buffalo Wild Wings

And, of course, there’s always that one friend that will fall into the “forever alone” category. That friend is Buffalo Wild Wings. This restaurant serves food and alcohol late into the night. Between the beer, wings, and giant TV’s, why would you need anything else? Don’t worry BW3’s; we still love you!

Since the lifestyles of the rich and famous are constantly changing, what relationships are your favorites? Comment below and tell us your favorite duo in Athens, Ohio. You never know who might be next!

All photos and graphics of Athens, Ohio were taken and made by Hannah Funderburg

Bars strive to thwart underage drinkers

Every year, approximately 5,000 freshmen enter Ohio University, ready to start their college careers and test OU’s reputation as a party school, even if the majority of them can’t drink legally. But it’s important to know that underage drinking can have serious consequences, and the bartenders and bouncers at Court Street bars are working to ensure their establishments obey the law.

According to the 2014 Alcohol and Other Drugs survey conducted by the university, only 14% of students at Ohio University do not drink. However, for the first time in several years, Ohio University eluded The Princeton Review’s list of Top 10 party schools. In 2012, OU was ranked No. 3, and in 2013, it ranked No. 7. This is encouraging to Ohio University officials, who have made it a priority to distance the university from the party-school reputation.

One of the ways Ohio University discourages underage drinking is by making the consequences severe. The school has a two-strike rule, whereby if a student is caught underage drinking by the university, they are put on six months of probation. The student is also required to take a six-hour alcohol class on a Saturday during this time. If the student is caught a second time within this period, he or she is suspended. Whether the student is arrested in a bar or caught by an RA in a dorm room, the consequences remain the same. Ohio University also requires all incoming freshmen to take AlcoholEdu, an online class followed by an in-person discussion on the dangers of binge drinking.

In 2012, the Athens Police Department arrested 238 people for underage drinking, while in 2013 they arrested 227. It may be too early to detect whether or not this downward trend will continue, but because of strictly enforced rules at bars, it is a possibility.

An Ohio University sophomore who requested anonymity says it’s easier to get caught than most students believe. She was enjoying a drink at The Crystal with a couple of friends as she had done many times before during her freshman year. An undercover officer came up to her and demanded to see her ID. She was ushered out the door, where she was arrested for possession of alcohol and a fake ID. Fortunately, the arrest was expunged from her record after she completed the diversion program.

The diversion program required her to perform eight hours of community service, pay a $319 fine, and attend a three-hour alcohol safety class. The program is offered to all first-time offenders whose pending charges are classified as a misdemeanor related to alcohol. Those who successfully complete the program will not have a criminal conviction on their records.

The OU sophomore believes this could have affected her entire life. She is an education major and has heard it is difficult to find a job teaching elementary school students when you have an underage drinking conviction. Her advice to other students is simple: “Don’t feel like because you’ve gone to the bars before and haven’t been caught, you can’t get in trouble. The more you go, the more prone you are to getting caught. It can happen to anyone. I never drank in high school, and this still happened to me. Be careful and watch out because it can affect your whole life.”

There also are repercussions for serving alcohol to someone who is underage in Ohio. The offender could receive a fine of $500 to $1,000, and go to jail for up to six months. The bar where the offense took place also could receive a citation and be issued a hefty fine. Because of this, the bartenders on Ohio University’s campus are careful when it comes to those they serve.

Will Irvine, a senior at Ohio University who has tended bar at The Pub for a year, says, “It all starts at the door.” The bouncers are given strict training to avoid admitting underage patrons, he said. However, if there is no bouncer working the door, the bartenders are taught to card everyone who orders a drink. Irvine also cards unfamiliar customers who look underage even if there is a bouncer working.

If Irvine is handed a fake ID, he asks the person presenting it to leave and informs the other employees to look out for that person in the future.  “The Pub’s policy on underage drinking can be considered strict on the Ohio University campus,” Irvine said. “We do not tolerate (underage) drinking by any means, and if we come in contact with an underage person in our establishment, we undertake our own specific process not only to inform the person that we do not tolerate such actions in our bar, but to inform everyone present of the behavior that they will abide by while in our establishment.”

Working as a bartender can be intimidating, especially when just starting out. Andee Scaife began working at Broney’s Alumni Grill in October 2014 and is just now getting the hang of it. She believes Broney’s has been successful in deterring underage drinking. “People on campus immediately know not to even try to use a fake ID because our bouncers and bartenders are so strict,” she says. “The fact that we have stuck with being strict for so long has given us the reputation we have.”

Several students said trying to use a fake ID at Broney’s almost guarantees it will be taken from you. To protect herself from getting in trouble, Scaife always IDs potential customers, saying she would rather be safe than sorry. She also studies the handbook of fake vs. real IDs for every state. To determine if an ID is fake, Broney’s can swipe it with their computer to make sure it’s real. Broney’s encourages its employees to “second form” customers if they are in doubt. Second forming refers to asking for another form of ID, whether that is a credit card or student ID, to make sure the names match up. This method is used at many bars on campus.

Drew Miletti, a bouncer at Stephen’s, knows how important it is for him to be vigilant when it comes to checking IDs. He is responsible for denying underage people. He was trained by shadowing a fellow bouncer for a night and instructed on how to read Ohio and Pennsylvania IDs because they are the most common. He was also told to second form anyone who has an ID from another state.

The bouncers and bartenders of these Court Street establishments know how hard it is to prevent underage drinking. While they all love their jobs, they admit it can be tough at times. There are hundreds of underage students attempting to get into the bars, a problem that seems to afflict Ohio University more than several of its peer institutions. While there will always be 18-year-olds using fake IDs on a college campus, students from other universities in Ohio say students rarely go to the bars if they are under 21. Emily Greaves, a 20-year-old junior at Kent State University, said she has never gone to a bar at her school, and  most students wait until they are 21. At Dayton University, house parties are the norm, and drinking at the bars is reserved for those who are of age, said 20-year-old junior Danielle Shatrich. Abby Yoder, a student at Ohio State University who recently celebrated her 21st birthday, said she went to the bars only a few times before she turned 21 and was always nervous when she went.

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Emily Peterson is a junior at Ohio University, majoring in strategic communications and minoring in marketing. She recently decided to switch her major from news and information, realizing that she’s more of a Samantha than a Carrie. She enjoys the 3 Rs, running, reading and relaxing in her spare time. She hopes to live in Chicago upon graduation, work for a PR firm and have enough money to buy Starbucks every morning.

Where would ‘Parks and Recreation’ characters drink?

If there’s one department Court Street is not lacking in, it’s bars. Each has a certain je ne sais quoi. To describe these distinct personalities, let’s turn to the television show “Parks and Recreation.” Specifically, if the show’s main characters were to take a road trip from Pawnee to Athens, where would they hang out?

Ron Swanson

Ron Swanson is not one for social gatherings, especially when it comes to enjoying a drink. So no bar on Court Street is likely to be his cup of tea (or rather, his cup of Lagavulin). Picture this: Ron sitting at the bar, drinking a Scotch (neat) while seven-plus college students invade his space, maybe rub against his face, laugh loudly while trying to get served, and prompt Ron to look extremely displeased. No, Court Street isn’t where this mustached man would spend his time. The best option for Ron would be Zoe on East State Street off Court Street. Zoe is a restaurant first, bar second. Ron would ask for a secluded table, order a large steak (rare), and keep the whisky coming. Court Street and Ron Swanson do not mix.

April Ludgate

A great fit for this dark, twisted woman is the Smiling Skull Saloon. The Skull is dark and full of townies and bikers whom April would love to observe and interact with. The Skull’s West Union Street location is a bit off the beaten path, as is April. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, so avoiding social interaction is easy. You don’t have to worry about peppy, loud college students here. A popular opinion among such students is that the Skull plays host to “weird people” and the name of the bar is often associated with a facial grimace and the phrase, “It’s so creepy!” It is definitely not on a party-hungry student’s list of places to hear the latest sugar-coated teeny-bopper hit. There’s a lot of black clothing, beanies, and you may or may not find discarded extras of drugs on the top of the toilet in the bathroom. The Skull is the perfect place for Ms. Ludgate.

Andy Dwyer

With its hipster vibe and reputation for hosting local bands, The Union Bar and Grill was the best bar for Andy. His band, MouseRat, could have played there and been a huge hit. It would have been a match made in heaven. But unfortunately the November fire derailed this option. (R.I.P. Union. until you rise again). Consequently, some recalculating is needed to determine Andy’s best match. A close second to Union is Casa Nueva Cantina and Restaurant. Casa hosts live bands but in a much calmer environment. It’s the bar to go to to sit back and enjoy your beer with friends and just hang out.

Side note: Andy Dwyer likes to jump out of/over things, so if he is sans band and in that particular mood, then Stephen’s On Court would be the bar for him. Their bottom bar has a window that is known for getting jumped out of. I would be lying if I said I didn’t know this from personal experience.

Tom Haverford

Considering Tom was part-owner of a club called the Snakehole Lounge, Court Street is a fantastic fit for him. There are so many options. But the right combination of sleazy, yet faux-VIP is Courtside Sports Bar. The two bar stations and outside area of Courtside give it that “high-end” feel that’s perfect for Tom. Courtside plays host to Ohio University athletes so there’s a high possibility of running into a campus celebrity. Tom Haverford is all about local celebrities. It’s the perfect opportunity for him to schmooze. Courtside is one of two bars specifically known for being the bar to go to if you’re underage. (The other being The Crystal, which if you go to the bars in general, you are all too aware.) We have now arrived at the sleazy aspect of Courtside. Courtside is no Snakehole Lounge, but it’s a fine substitute for Tom.

Donna Meagle

Donna Meagle is too cool for the bars of Court Street. If we had a cigar and wine club, it would be a match made in heaven. Alas, we are not Pawnee, Indiana, and do not have such an establishment. Donna would treat herself to a more expensive bar like J Bar. The bar itself isn’t particularly any classier than the other bars on Court, but it likes to pretend it is by charging more money for its drinks. It is classier than The Crystal, though. But that’s an easy feat. J Bar also has a very aesthetically-pleasing brick wall on its top floor that is nice for taking pictures against. Donna is all about social media, so some pictures with the brick backdrop would do nicely for looking like she’s in a fancier place than she is. Donna probably would just rent that entire top floor of J Bar, if we’re being real.

Leslie Knope

Leslie Knope loves waffles. Her favorite type of food is breakfast food. “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” What goes great with breakfast food? Coffee. What bar has a signature drink that is coffee-based? Tony’s Tavern. Their Hot Nut is a hot shot of coffee and hazelnut liqueur. I’ve never had one myself, and couldn’t bring myself to taste one just for the purpose of this article because I hate both coffee and shots, but I have heard good things, the majority of which come from my roommate, Sarah Bernstein. “You’ve never had a Hot Nut? Are you out of your mind? They’re so good! You’d love them!” Shut up, Sarah. But I can associate a thing or two, and when I think of Leslie Knope, I immediately think of the Hot Nut. There is no other factor in this equation. Leslie Knope would go to Tony’s specifically because of this drink.

Ben Wyatt

Ben is a beer guy, and a bar known for their wide variety of beers is Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery. The bar has 38 beers on draft, so this gives Ben ample opportunity to try a new beer or two because God knows, there has to be a beer out there he enjoys more than Miller Lite. One would hope, anyway. Jackie O’s draws a diverse, friendly crowd that creates a relaxed atmosphere for someone to sit back and enjoy her beer. Jackie O’s also features live bands, but the music is more blues/garage-rock.

Jerry Gergich

Who cares? He’ll ruin everything anyway.

Ann Perkins

Although Ann has had some great character development, a central theme in her life is her dating situation. It always seems to be her storyline. That being so, Ann would go to Broney’s Alumni Grill during one her dating phases because a large portion of its patrons is the older crowd, which is more of Ann’s niche. Single Ann would go to Broney’s to put herself out there, dating-wise. Even Ann in a relationship would go there with her significant other to mingle with other couples in a calmer environment.

Chris Traeger

If you take Chris Traeger to any bar, he will — “literally” — find any way to remain positive. Even if he is taken into The Crystal, where it almost always spells like urine and feces, Chris would spin that situation positively. That’s what he does. He loves positivity. But I won’t use that as a fallback. He still deserves a well-thought-out Court Street bar choice. This beautiful man would fit in well at The C.I. It’s heavily populated by Greeks but in a surprisingly harmonious way that you don’t have to worry about being annoyed. It’s an overall happy atmosphere and even though the bar gets a bit crowded, you only have to dance your way through. Chris Traeger dances a mean jig. Dancing and happiness are two qualities The C.I. and Chris have in common.

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Hannah Haseman is a strategic communications major in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She spends a startling amount of time watching television shows and movies. Her dream job is to critique those in the entertainment industry through reviews or, more specifically, the bulls-eye section of Entertainment Weekly. 

Court Street bars’ signature drinks

Do you never know what to order at the bar? Check out this list of signature drinks on Court Street to help you satisfy your late-night drinking.

Lucky’s Sports Tavern

  • Liquor Pitcher ($5) on Wednesdays.
  • Lunchbox ($4.50) is a pint glass filled with beer and orange juice. You drop a shot of 151 and Amaretto into the glass and chug the drink.

Cat’e Eye Saloon

  • Browns bomb ($4.50) is a shot containing orange vodka, Peach Schnapps and an orange-flavored Monster.

Red Brick Tavern

  • Mega Mug ($4.50) is mug filled with 20 ounces of beer.

The C.I.

  • Vegas Bomb ($3) is a shot of Crown, Peach Schnapps and Red Bull.

The Crystal

  • Crystal Ball ($2.75) is a mixed drink containing vodka, Grape Pucker, and Sprite.

The Pigskin Bar and Grille

  • Black Widow ($4) is a mixed drink containing vodka, rum, gin, Raspberry Pucker, Blue Curacao, sour mix, Sprite and cranberry juice.

Pawpurr’s Bar

  • Blackout ($4) is a mixed drink of sprite, Blue Maui, Raspberry Burnett’s, sour mix and two red cherries.

The Pub

  • Aquarium ($4) is a 32-ounce goblet of beer.

J Bar

  • The Junction Punch ($4) is a mixed drink containing vodka, rum, gin, Mixed Berry Medley Schnapps, Grenadine, sour mix and Sprite.

The Overhang

  • Brain Stomper ($4) is a mixed drink containing rum, gin, vodka, orange juice, sour mix and Grenadine.

Stephen’s

  • Marijuana Shot ($3) is a shot containing vodka, Peach Schnapps, Blue Curacao, Sour Apple mix, orange juice and pineapple juice.

Courtside Sports Bar

  • Adios ($3.50) is a mixed drink containing Long Island mix, Blue Curacao, sour mix, Sprite and a lemon.

Broney’s Alumni Grill

  • Loaded Margarita ($5) is a mixed drink containing tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, sour mix and a corona.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a bar that’s just right? Shuffle with us

Ask any Bobcat, what makes Court Street unique to Athens and most will reply with the crazy number of bars. There are about 20 bars located in Athens and 13 of them are on Court Street. With so many bars, finding the perfect one with the right atmosphere can be tough. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, here is a guide to help you find the place to satisfy your late-night drinking. 

Lucky’s Sports Tavern, 11 North Court St.

This is the first stop on our Court Street bar shuffle. Students come here every Wednesday for Lucky’s liquor pitcher deals. Spending five bucks on these pitchers is worth every penny. You really get what you pay for. However, this bar is known to be one of toughest to get into. Be prepared to show multiple forms of I.D. at the door because the bouncers don’t mess around. This bar is also famous for being the local Steelers bar so naturally Browns and Bengals fans rarely ever go here.

Cat’s Eye Saloon, 12 North Court S.

Right across from Lucky’s, Cat’s Eye is not the place for underage drinkers. Try to use your fake I.D. at the door and it’s guaranteed to be taken away. The frequent visitors at this bar are mostly Cleveland sports fans. They even have a drink named after the Cleveland Browns. Cat’s Eye offers good prices and has plenty of space to accommodate your social activity. There are plenty of pool tables in this bar and one of the best places to play a game without the fear of jabbing someone because it is too crowded.

Red Brick Tavern, 14 North Court St.

This bar is located next to Cat’s Eye and definitely the place to be during a Bengals or Reds game. Cincinnati fans flock to the bar to watch the games on Sunday afternoons. This bar is also notoriously known as the underage bar on Court Street, which is a huge turnoff for the 21+ crowd. Throughout the week, 18+ can get in through a cover charge of $3. It is pretty narrow inside the bar, which makes it hard to move around on crowded weekends. Red Brick is also known for its Wednesday karaoke night that attracts a decent size crowd.

The C.I., 32 North Court St.

This is definitely the bar everyone tries to make it to during a night out.  There is a lot of intermingling between Greeks and GDIs (God Damn Independents), which creates the perfect atmosphere. It gets pretty crowded at the top bar but there is plenty of space in the basement. The bartenders are relaxed and you can count on getting a drink quickly. They have an extensive list of bombs that you can choose from and offer free peanuts during happy hours. If you love the mix of Geek life and GDIs, then go get high at the C.I.

The Crystal, 34 North Court St.

This bar is famous for being the Greek bar on Court Street. If you go here you are bound to wake up with a stamp on your hand that will be impossible to get off. The Crystal has a special place in the Greek community, but chances are if you are a GDI, you are going to hate it. Getting a drink at the bar is nearly impossible unless you know the bartenders. During Homecoming and Greek Week, be prepared to see some crazy costumes from all the socials hosted at this bar. The Crystal is always crowded and the place to be if you are Greek but beware of the bathrooms.

The Pigskin Bar and Grille, 38 North Court St.

This is a popular bar among the 21+ crowd. It’s the best place on Court Street to order food and watch football games. The bar is spacious and has a great vibe on the weekends. This bar attracts a diverse crowd and really has no reputation. It is also stop one in the Bermuda Triangle, which is guaranteed to get you pretty messed up. (The Bermuda Triangle consists of three bars, Pigskin, Pawpurr’s and J Bar, in which you order their signature drinks. You follow this route until you get lost in the Bermuda Triangle.)

Pawpurr’s Bar, 37 North Court St.

This bar is always a good time. During Primetime, 8 p.m.-9 p.m., students flock to this bar to get half-priced drinks. Pawpurr’s also has deals during the week such as 50-cent draft night on Tuesdays and liquor pitchers on Wednesdays. When the bar gets crowded, it is impossible to get served and the bartenders tend to not make strong mixed drinks. If you are a regular, you know who the owner of this bar is because he loves to give out free drinks. This is the second stop on the Bermuda Triangle and students come and go as they please. Overall, this bar has a great mix of social groups.

The Pub, 39 North Court St.

This is one of the most laid-back bars on Court Street. They are known for their giant glasses of beer called Aquariums. This place is not essential to stop at during your evening but a great place to relax and have a nice drink. The negative side is the size; it is pretty small and can get really crowded.

J Bar, 41 North Court Street

Originally this bar was the Junction until the owner of Courtside bought the bar.  J Bar still continues their famous Junction Punch. This is a fruity drink that has way too much alcohol in it and is the drink to order on your final stop of the Bermuda Triangle. Their top bar overlooks the rest of the bar and is a great place to hold a social. Many Greeks and athletes come to this bar and it is not home to any under-agers.

The Over Hang, 63 North Court St.

This is a relatively new bar on campus that not a lot of people go to. Many younger students are too scared to go to this bar because it’s nice and intimidating. This bar is a great place to go if you don’t want to see anyone you know. There are a few regulars but overall has a diverse crowd. The Over Hang is the place to go if you want to get drunk off of $10.

Stephen’s, 66 North Court St.

This bar has gained popularity within the last couple of years. Greeks who cannot deal with the stench of Crystal, end up making their way to Stephen’s. Their three bars offer you a chance to get your drink fast. You can find space about anywhere in this bar whether it’s in the basement or by the top two bars. Be sure to watch out when walking down the stairs. They are steep and not ideal for girls wearing heels, especially since this bar hosts a lot of Greek socials and formals.

Courtside Sports Bar, 85 North Court St.

This is the primary bar for Ohio Bobcat athletes and Sigma Pi’s. An evening at Courtside is guaranteed to be a crazy one. It’s impossible to hear what your friends are saying because of the loud rap music. It isn’t unusual to see students dancing on the tables or ordering rounds of shots. The bar attracts a diverse crowd including Greeks, business majors, and grad students. It is known for its outdoor patio area during the summer and a great place to watch a football game. Courtside attracts a big crowd every Wednesday for their 50 cent slice night of their famous pizza.

Broney’s Alumni Grill, 7 West Carpenter St.

Broney’s is the last stop on the Court Street shuffle and one of the nicest bars that make you pay for overpriced drinks. It is one of the most neutral bars on campus because there are a lot of different people who go here. Many international students have started to take over the bar, but there is something for everyone here. Alumni like to go to this bar because of the cleanliness, space, and diversity of drinks. Their patio is great on a nice summer day and a cool place to relax and have their famous champagne slushy.

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Angela Keane is a junior in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She is involved in Scripps Public Relations Student Society of America, ImPRessions, and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She will be interning with the Miss Universe Organization in New York City during Spring semester.