Tuesday, October 4, 2022

A guide to bars that aren't Rick's or Harper's

September 15, 2022
<p>Jessa Bye, 36, left, and Clementine Metzger, 17, right, play a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles arcade game at the Grid Arcade &amp; Bar in Old Town in Lansing on Sept. 8, 2022. The games are free to play and drinks range from sodas to cocktails to mixed drinks.</p>

Jessa Bye, 36, left, and Clementine Metzger, 17, right, play a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles arcade game at the Grid Arcade & Bar in Old Town in Lansing on Sept. 8, 2022. The games are free to play and drinks range from sodas to cocktails to mixed drinks.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Cover. Slippery floor. Flashing lights. EDM remixes. Overpriced drinks. Overcrowded room. 

We’ve all been to this bar. Rick’s, Harper’s, The Riv, Dublin — just to name a few. And through rain, snow, cigarette and vape smoke, we all have waited in line, sometimes for hours, to enter the euphoric atmosphere that is East Lansing bars. 

There’s no questioning it, East Lansing is one of the best college towns in the country thanks to its vibrant nightlife and social atmosphere – and that, in part, is thanks to the bars that define East Lansing. The ones that have always had our backs. The ones that have helped us escape from our duties as students. 

But there are other great bars outside of this bubble that most of us have been ignoring for far too long.  So if you’re looking for cheaper drinks, fewer people or just a different atmosphere then read on. These are three bars in Lansing you should try out. 

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The Grid 

In an old brick building in Old Town is The Grid – an arcade bar home to the golden age of arcade games. Established in 2017, this young bar is pure 80’s with a neon Pacman hanging overhead and Ghostbusters on the TVs as you play arcade games like Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, Street Fighter, or board games like Chutes and Ladders or Trouble. 

The best part: these games are free to play. Though, you really should buy a drink. The Grid offers a selection of 40 craft beers and cocktails that reference various pop culture figures and events. To name a few: Marilyn Monroe, Watergate, Baloo the Bear. My personal favorites are The Dude and Randy Savage. 

The uniqueness of this bar doesn't stop at its atmosphere. At The Grid, you will not find high-profile domestic or craft beers. Rather, they serve highly rated, hard-to-find beers from across the U.S. The same is applied to its games. You’ll find some familiar favorites, but The Grid prides itself on the more rare games.

The Grid is open Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays from 2 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.

Dagwood’s

Located on E. Kalamazoo St near Skyvue is a small sports bar with a rich history. The building was built in 1901 and according to the website, an Oldsmobile Payroll Supervisor named Derwood Root bought the bar and called it “Nim’s.” Root sold the bar in 1987 and since then, Dagwood’s would be frequented by politicians, autoworkers, athletes, locals and students. 

This is a great place for cheap drinks and eats. My favorite drink is a whiskey sour, so of course, I ordered one. It was $3.50. You just can’t beat that price. 

And the food: you won’t find a food item on that menu that’s more than $10.00. Dagwood’s offers an all-day every day special of a burger, fries, and 12 oz draft beer (or non-refillable pop) for $6.00.

Dagwood’s is open every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Stober's

This is a straight up bar that I can't very well describe. It's a classic bar, a small and personal place that one can see the entirety of as they stand at the entrance. Along the wall by the entrance is a shuffleboard and next to the shuffleboard is a jukebox that regularly plays old rock hits. Behind the bar are two mythical eagles, a wizard that stares at you as you drink and a friendly bartender who converses with the locals.

But that's just what it looks like. What Stober's is really known for is being Lansing's oldest bar, established in 1933.

Not much information can be found online, so go see for yourself why Stober's has been around for so long. Stober's is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 2 a.m. on Sunday's, with live music playing on Tuesday's and Sunday's from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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