Avoid the awkward 'Where should we go?' banter and pinpoint your perfect bar for the night before Thanksgiving. Whether you want to get wild on the dance floor or nurse a beer in a low-key atmosphere, our list will help you create an ideal night.
If You're Looking For a Low-Key Night
Combine a laid-back atmosphere with a nautical theme and you get The Anchor on Grand Rapids' west side. Nothing fancy. Just cheap drinks and good company.
The Hideout Brewing
3113 Plaza Dr. NE, Grand Rapids
hideoutbrewing.com, (616) 361-9658
The Hideout is like a beer-drinker's best-kept secret. Tricky to find, but rewarding once you step inside. Settle in with a Smuggler's Hazelnut Stout and get to know some new friends.
970 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
A few things to keep in mind when planning a night to Pickwick: 1. This place seats about 20 people, so squeezing close is a given. 2. You need cash to pay for your drinks, which is part of this bar's low-key charm.
208 W. Savidge St., Spring Lake
This unpretentious bar is the perfect mix of neighborhood-friendly and low-key. Known for its 'Laker Liter' and burgers, Stan's is the right place to go if you want to catch up with friends over a couple large beers and a burger.
If You're Not Looking To Impress Anyone
Being one of the oldest bars still standing west of the Grand River, this bar has character to say the least. If you're looking for cheap drinks and an atmosphere that attracts folk from all walks of life, you've picked the right bar. Be it college kids or middle-agers, who could turn down a $1.25 draft? Bonus: Food until 2 a.m.
1518 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
mulliganspub.com, (616) 451-0775
Sure, the tables might be sticky and the carpet may resemble cement, but one thing Mulligan's has in its favor is a $4 PBR pitcher. Try to beat that, I dare you.
18 Washington Ave., Grand Haven
pavilionwharfbar.com, (616) 842-9500
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, The Pavilion has a family feel to it. If you hop in on Thursdays through Saturdays, you can have a late dinner and a drink for fairly cheap. Tell the misses to stop fussing with her hair and make-up, they are all about casual.
43 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
Although not an "official" gay bar, Pub 43 is frequented by many members of the gay community (and their allies). Additionally, this place has two major selling points: greasy food and pool tables. Don't worry about dressing your best, just worry about whether or not to buy another jello shot.
Formerly Sazerac, this bar was renamed after a Louisiana-based company of the same name demanded the lounge change its name. What the change means for the new Rezervoir Lounge is not only a new name, but an upgraded kitchen, bathrooms, additional beer taps and cosmetic updates. With 24 beers on tap, Rez Lounge has a solid mix of national and local microbrews in addition to a full bar. The menu features pizza, in addition to Louisiana favorites such as gumbo, red beans and rice and jambalaya. Bonus: Euchre Night on Wednesdays.
2600 Patterson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
schmohz.com, (616) 949-0860
Come as you are to this brewery right off of 28th Street. Schmohz offers pinball, microbrews and a big, open taproom.
If You're Looking To Impress Someone
61 E. 7th St., Holland
cityflatshotel.com, (616) 796-2100
Located on the CityFlatsHotel main floor, CitySen Lounge lets you unwind from a stressful day in a classy manor. They offer a wide range of wines, beers and specialty drinks.
310 2nd St., Kalamazoo
thegatsby.com, (269) 290-1900
With its VIP seating and reserve bottle service, The Gatsby will elevate your experience in downtown Kalamazoo, Ol' Sport. Sexy and sophisticated, this bar will have you breaking all of the rules on the dance floor.
If You're Looking For a Classy Night
187 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
cygnus27.com, (616) 776-6425
Located on the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza, Cygnus27 makes grabbing a drink feel like luxury living. Order a beer, wine or one of the lounge's famous specialty cocktails.
201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
reservegr.com, (616) 855-9463
If you're over that cheap wine you chug to get drunk on the weekends, maybe you're ready for Reserve. You get what you pay for here; from an enormous and diverse wine selection to cuisine that pairs perfectly with your particular wine choice.
The Wine Loft
161 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamzoo
millenniumrestaurants.com, (269) 343-9227
If you want a more refined night with your friends or family, schedule a trip to The Wine Loft. Expand your palate with wine-and-food pairings, wine flights, or if you're feeling indulgent, both.
If You Want To Dance
22046 M-60, Mendon
thecowboyup.com, (269) 496-7956
Cowboy Up is the perfect place to get your line dancing on. Live bands play each week, so no two dancing experiences are really the same.
Crush at The B.O.B
20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
thebob.com, (616) 356-2000.
A place to strut your stuff and crush it on the dance floor, this establishment's objective: create timeless memories in a timeless, classy atmosphere.
Grand Woods Lounge
77 Grandville Ave. SW
grandwoodslounge.com, (616) 451-4300
Grab a Woodstini and head to the dance floor. Grand Woods Lounge will have a DJ on hand, so you can dance away Thanksgiving calories ahead of time.
58 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
mcfaddensgrandrapids.com, (616) 454-9105
Just because the name is Irish doesn't mean you have to be. Restaurant by day and party hub by night, McFadden's draws in quite the crowd each weekend with a DJ playing Top 40 dance hits.
438 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids
monteslounge.com, (616) 774-5969
DJs at Monte's know what to play to keep a crowd on the dance floor. And the bartenders know what to mix to keep that crowd dancing.
69 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
rumorsnightclub.net, (616) 454-8720
You may know Rumors is a gay bar, but what you may not know is how awesome it is. Rumors is all about fun, from their giant disco ball above the dance floor to drag shows and twice-monthly foam parties.
If Your Life is Like That One Billy Joel Song
180 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
mojospianobar.com, (616) 776-9000
Wednesday through Saturday, Mojo's offers its dueling piano spectacles, providing musical entertainment by way of everyone-knows-them tunes.
300 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo
monacobay.com, (269) 384-6044
Located in the Entertainment District below Skydeck, this bar offers talented performers as a side to all its cocktails. Enjoy dueling pianos every weekend, as well as drink specials for the biggest bar night of the year.
125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo
millenniumrestaurants.com, (269) 384-6756
Transformed from Gilmore's Department Store to a restaurant and bar, every seat in the house offers a spectacular view of the stage. Working closely with Western Michigan University's music department, the bar offers free jazz, blues and funk music Thursday thru Sunday.
If You Feel Like Seeing Live Music
1437 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
billyslounge.com, (616) 459-5757
Located a stone's throw from Yesterdog, Billy's fits Wealthy Street's rustic class. Unassuming from the outside, Billy's has an atmosphere that appeals to both young and old. Plus, free popcorn. On Nov. 27, channel your inner Kelly Clarkson at Billy's weekly Campus Karaoke.
Bell's Eccentric Cafe
355 Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo
bellsbeer.com, (269) 382-5712
Bell's offers a chill atmosphere to enjoy a couple of beers and live performances. The 20 different beers always on tap offer the perfect compliment to the live music.
Founders Brewing Company
235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-2182
The taprooms in Michigan's craft beer hubs are building a reputation for hosting really good music, and Founders is no exception. From regional to national acts, it's a safe bet that whoever's playing ain't no schlub.
191 Angell St., Battle Creek
Planet Rock first and foremost is a concert venue, but the drink specials make it an ideal location to enjoy live music. On the biggest bar night, the venue hosts Unhinged and Bad Tattoo with drink specials going all night.
If You Just Turned 21
241 E. Kalamazoo Ave. #100, Kalamazoo
shakespearespub.com, (269) 488-7782
Shakespeare's Pub has daily bands, dancing and of course, alcohol. Perfect for someone who just turned 21.
3406 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo
waysidewest.com, (269) 375-1930
A giant hole-in-the-wall with greasy food to conquer any craving. This bar is perfect for the newly 21 with its large dancing room and plenty of seating. The cheap specials include a Wednesday College Night, with $2.50 craft pints.
Wild Bull Saloon
139 S. Edwards St., Kalamazoo
wildbull.com, (269) 978-8451
This highly energetic and fun saloon serves southern-style food and has its own mechanical bull, En Fuego.
If You Want to Stay Away from People Who Just Turned 21
925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
breweryvivant.com, (616) 719-1604
People who frequent Brewery Vivant know that their alcohol should be savored, not shot. Hang with like-minded people and sip on one of Vivant's Belgian-inspired brews.
Kalamazoo Beer Exchange
211 E. Water St., Kalamazoo
kalamazoobeerexchange.com, (269) 532-1188
The multi-tap bar and grill offers 28 rotating draft beers from around the world. But the unique aspect of this bar is that prices are based on real-time sales, which causes ever-evolving happy hours.
45 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
rockwellsrepublic.com, (616) 551-3563
R/R is classy, but not too classy. The kind of place you want to go if you really want to act your age and not your shoe size, but no more than that.
Saugatuck Brewing Company
2948 Blue Star Highway, Douglas
saugatuckbrewing.com, (269) 857-7222
Laid-back and cozy, SBC's Lucky Stone Pub offers upscale pub fare to go with the microbrews on tap.