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Raising the Bar: Watering Holes Of The MAC

Grab a drink at each of these bars, we'll give you a t-shirt and put your picture on the wall of the Hustle Belt offices.

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Akron: Manny's

Manny's Pub, catty-corner to InfoCision Stadium, is the place to be before and after the game. It's by far the most popular bar on campus and you'll always see Manny the owner working the bar. There are numerous specials during the week and game day specials as well. Next door is Hanini Subs (Manny owns this as well). You'll get a delicious sub at a reasonable place. While you're there, make sure you play the lobster claw game ( They'll cook it for you if you happen to catch one. - Brandon Hickey

Ball State: The Chug

While Ball State's Village is presently undergoing a complete facelift, when I called Muncie home 10 years ago, there were two kinds of people. There were Chug people and there were Dill Street people. Dill Street was for the dancers, The Chug was for the drinkers. We were more frequently seen at the latter, and were rarely in dress code for the former.

The Chug carried with it a certain charm accomplished only by offering take home "Chug Mugs" that could be later refilled at your leisure for less than a dollar. "Skee Ball" fan? At The Chug we called it "Ice Ball." Complete with a Muncie local happy to throw a couple of games for fun, before putting $20 on a game you'll never win. Everyone was hustled once. No one alerts the rookies, it's a rite of passage.

The younger generation tells me that The Locker Room is the place to go now. We were in The Locker Room from time to time. I'm told that it looks considerably different today than it did when I was in school. I'm told The Chug pretty much looks the same. - Keith M. Scheessele

Bowling Green: Uptown Downtown

A two-story bar/night club allows anyone at Bowling Green to have some fun. Uptown (the second floor) is an 18+ nightclub that lets you dance the night away. But if drinking is more your style, like us, Downtown is a 21+ bar that offers $2 domestic bottles and well drinks until 9 p.m. everyday. Plus they have good food at even better prices and six pool tables, that are always free to play!

Buffalo: Brennan's Bowery Bar

When I worked close to Main and Transit, Brennan's by far was my favorite lunch place. Brennan's is the type of place that you always say I am going to try something different but end up ordering the same item every time because they are so good. Great wings, great sandwiches, specials, and much more. - J. David Brand

Central Michigan: O'Kelly's, Wayside

O'Kelly's/Wayside is extremely popular in Mt. Pleasant. It's right across from the football stadium, and split in two. O'Kelly's is an Irish themed pub and nice place to drink, eat, and just hang out, while Wayside is a dance club that opens after dark... that's where you can get your party on. The best/potentially awkward part is that you can easily traverse between both. - James Jimenez

Eastern Michigan: The Wurst

In Jesse's post about the best eats, Sidetrack would've been a good pick for this too, but The Wurst is great. Very chill atmosphere, the service is friendly, tons of hipsters, and the beer is fantastic. Bingo on Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesdays, $5 pitchers of PBR (seriously, hipsters), $2 crafts on Friday, $1.50 well drinks on Saturday. It's cheap, it's fun, it's walking (edit: stumbling) distance from my apartment. Come get drunk with me. - Alex Alvarado

Kent State: Water Street Tavern

Water Street Tavern is the official bar for Kent State sports and features a few coaches shows there. While it wasn't one I frequently visited (too many bros) I did get wasted there watching the Kent State baseball team defeat the Oregon Ducks to advance to the College World Series back in the summer of 2012. What an atmosphere that was.

Zephyr Pub was my watering hole-a three-story bar, dim-lighting, good music and a bunch of hipsters. It's the bar I loved the most and went to on a regular basis. Plus, they have free pizza every now and then and the one bartender was always happy to talk Indians baseball. - Andy Jardy

Massachusetts: Amherst Brewing Company

If you're an alumni I suggest Amherst Brewing Company. More low key, billiards to play and right across the street from the Hanger if you're in need of a wings fix. Also plenty of craft beers on draft, so you aren't stuck drinking the usual college fare (Coors and Busch light). - Jesse Allen

Miami: Skippers

1) Skippers. Good wings, good beer, good appetizers, and a nice patio to sit on people-watching before or after a game. And the crisscut fries are AWESOME.

2) Mac & Joe's. No outdoor seating here, they've been in an alley since 1946. Dark and covered in wood paneling and sports memorabilia, it looks like a trip to the past. But they make some amazing food (with the full kitchen open until like 2:15 am), including the legendary Turkey Gobbler sandwich, and they're a longtime favorite hangout for pre- and post-game fun. - The Chuck

Northern Illinois: Molly's

Well for NIU, we always say Fatty's (because it is the best) but let's mix it up and say Molly's. Last year they moved into a new, bigger location. They have good drink specials and for a real test, you can Ride the Rail - a 10 drink challenge that gets you a shirt (should you pass). Plus a nice outdoor patio and pool tables, darts, and bags. - David Drury

Ohio: The Over Hang

Too many great bars to pick just one. Personally, my favorites are: The Overhang (formerly the Blue Gator) for its clean (read: my feet don't stick to the floor) atmosphere and cheap domestic and import beers (most are only $2).

Also a fan of Tony's for its dive bar atmosphere and live jazz on Tuesdays. Great place to play darts.

Broneys has $2 draft Blue Moons on what seems like every day of the year.

Lucky's has $5 liquor pitchers on Wednesdays that make it worth being elbow to elbow in the sardine can of a bar.

Red Brick's Mega Mugs are OK when you want insanely cold cheap beer, but the basement flooding anytime the toilet flushes is not.

The C.I. is great to play pool at and get insanely strong mixed drinks, and I can't forget Jackie O's for their great craft Brews and power hour specials. (Sorry, fans of The Crystal, no one likes bro bars.) - Bryan Vance

Toledo: Bar 145°

Bar 145° focuses on fantastic burgers. Their name reflects their passion for burgers, as 145° is the perfect temperature to cook a burger medium-rare. They also have live music, happy hour drink specials, and a huge bourbon list to choose from.

Western Michigan: Shakespeare's

I went with the Beer Exchange in the Best Bars post a bit back and now turn to Shakespeare's as a bar to visit. 40 beers on tap (mostly crafts), nightly specials that are really good, lots of space, and occasionally live music. Also, there's a stage downstairs that has seen some decent (not great) acts in recent years. Also a big plus is the larger parking lot in downtown, since it's hell to park at any other bar not part of the Entertainment District/clubs. - Brandon Fitzsimons