Allen Street Bars
Allen Street, located in the city between the majority of the Elmwood bars and Chippewa bars, is home to a number of small, artsy establishments. Allen bars almost always check identification, so have a proper form ready. Most places won't charge a cover, but it is usually no more than $5 if a bar so chooses. Drinks are reasonably priced, and a number of late-night food options are available within walking distance.
Hardware has been an Allentown favorite for quite some time, boasting three different bars. Renovated from an actual hardware store, the café and bar hosts live music Thursday and Friday nights and a DJ on Saturday. The walls are adorned with artwork from local artists that change each month.
Allen Street Grill (formerly known as the Pink Flamingo, but more affectionately known as simply "The Pink") is also relatively popular. Frizzy's is also known as a very casual bar with pool tables and a photo booth. Mulligan's Brick Bar is another Allentown favorite, as it is relatively large and typically pretty busy on the weekends.
There are also late night food options on Allen Street. Jim's Steak Out, at the corner of Allen Street and Elmwood Avenue, is open until 5 a.m. Towne Restaurant, on the opposite corner of Allen Street and Elmwood Avenue, is open until 4 a.m. on the weekends.
Chippewa offers both the bar and club scene, with some locations achieving both of these goals, to some degree. For students who don't live in the city, this 15- to 20-minute drive may seem like a bit of a trek, so make sure a designated driver is chosen beforehand.
Drinks are reasonably priced, but there is usually a $5 to $10 cover for most bars on the weekend. Most bars won't accept expired or questionable forms of identification, so make sure to bring an appropriate form.
Wednesday appears to be the new Saturday at Encore, located right off of Chippewa on Pearl Street. Encore boasts both an indoor bar and an enclosed, heated outdoor bar, which is almost always filled to capacity on Wednesday nights.
Purple Monkey, located at the corner of Chippewa and Delaware Avenue, hosts an open bar for $10 on Wednesday evenings from 10:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., which includes draft beer and well drinks.
Thursday through Saturday are usually busy nights at other Chippewa clubs. Pure is a massive nightclub with multiple VIP areas, which should be booked in advance. The club doesn't charge cover before 1 a.m. on Saturdays. Also, Pure hosts "PURE University" throughout the semester, which means that students 21 years old and above get in without paying a cover.
Other Chippewa bar favorites include Soho, which is a two-story establishment with three different bars, including an outdoor patio; Sky Bar, known for its strict identification standards and great city view; City Tavern; and Bottom's Up.
Papaya, located next to Chocolate Bar on Chippewa, offers two-for-one martinis and half-price sushi at the bar on Wednesday evenings with live jazz in the background. Chocolate Bar offers a number of creative martinis, the majority of which incorporate chocolate in some way.
Elmwood typically brings in a slightly different crowd than Chippewa. The atmosphere is more relaxed, and most bars also function as restaurants, which means that there is plenty of room to sit and converse with others. Again, Elmwood may seem less convenient for those not living in the city, so a designated driver is probably necessary.
A new Elmwood favorite is Blue Monk, which is busy nearly every day and night of the week. The bar offers a plethora of foreign beer favorites, but at a cost. Prices can range from approximately $5 to $20 for a beer, although the quality and quantity does vary.
Cole's and Mr. Goodbar offer a more affordable night out. Tuesday is Ladies' Night at Cole's, which means that pitchers of beer are at a reduced cost. Additionally, Cole's offers a number of beers from local breweries, such as Flying Bison and Ellicottville Brewing Company. Mr. Goodbar is right next door and has a number of pool tables and dartboards for the patrons' enjoyment.
Mezza, a newer establishment that offers Mediterranean food and hookah when the outdoor patio is open, has a comfortable bar. When hookah is available, the combination of falafel, hookah, and a mixed drink can be a quiet way to enjoy an evening on Elmwood.
Cecelia's, also located directly on Elmwood, is known for its gourmet Italian food and martinis. On Monday, this restaurant offers two-for-one martinis and half-price appetizers.
Main Street Bars
Known for their proximity to campus and somewhat lenient identification standards, Main Street bars are always overrun by UB students. As a whole, drinks are quite affordable, and the location is convenient; cabs from other spots in the city will cost approximately $20, while UB offers shuttle back and forth from North Campus all night.
The Steer, found right next to Lake Effect Diner, is more of a bar than a club. In the warmer months, the upstairs patio and outside are usually open, which is convenient for smokers or those who want a change of scenery. However, this bar typically doesn't get busy until midnight or later, so plan accordingly.
On Tuesdays, The Steer has $5 pitchers, which competes with Third Base's Tuesday flip-night: after ordering a drink, the bartender flips a coin; if the patron calls heads or tails correctly, he or she doesn't have to pay for the drink. This deal is perfect for the cash-strapped college kid, but only if you're lucky.
Mojo's and Northside, located only a few doors down from one another, offer the club atmosphere that lots of college students are looking for after a long week. Both are typically extremely crowded, so be careful with any personal belongings.
Hertel Avenue also offers a nightlife scene, including a number of restaurants and bars. The Wellington Pub, Shadow Lounge and Restaurant, Gabels, Pokey Joe's Inc., and Checker's Tavern are popular locations.