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Review

River Falls bars defy expectations, serve surprises

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February 19, 2009

Week two’s bar review definitely adds to the smorgasbord of establishments in River Falls. But before you choose your favorite place, make sure to visit them all. It doesn’t have to be in one night, of course … but that’s always fun, too.

The Library

Usually the last place college students end up, they’ll only end up there Wednesday through Saturday, because that’s the only days of the week they’re open. As soon as you walk through the door, you’ll stick to the floor. Someone asked me if the dance floor makes up for this. Truth be told, it does.

The Library isn’t for the timid, the shy or the humble. Loud music, spilling drinks and young minds resonate within the walls. Obnoxiously drunk I show up; obnoxiously drunk I leave.

On “Wobbly Wednesday,” patrons may have too much fun for $20 with $1 Long Islands, $2 Captain & Cokes and 50 cent taps. Wednesday is also teen night for 18 plus as long as they enter through the back door (where IDs are checked). Thursday from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. you can get 50 cent Old Milwaukee’s Best cans. Ladies drink for free and guys for $2 before 10:30 on Thursday nights.

Friday is college ID night with three for one on taps, rails, and calls from 10 to Midnight. There’s also $2 pitchers for beer pong. Yeah, did you know there is a beer pong table at The Library? There isn’t any karaoke, though. Shucks.

This bar gives students something to do for $5. It also gives college students—females, mostly—a place to practice their stage routines.

Ground Zero

Only open Wednesday through Saturday, Ground Zero is known for their $5 Captain & Coke or Long Island liter drinks. But before you can scoot your way to the bar, you have to get past the two bouncers who scan your ID to make sure it hasn’t already been used by someone else to get in.

The bar itself is rather large and curves around the center of the room, allowing patrons to find a spot to mosey on up and get a drink. This is a bar where you can easily find your friends, as long as they stay in relatively the same spot.

I really like the four booths that are set deep into the shadows in little wall pockets. It’s a good place to block out the chaos or to duck in with your friends, especially if you have a liter drink sitting in front of you.

My other favorite part of the bar is free foosball on Wednesday nights. That, added with dollar taps and rail drinks, make Wednesdays a cheap night. Thursday is $7 Ladies all-you-care-to-drink and $10 for guys. Guys have to get there before 10 p.m. and ladies before 10:30 p.m. to sign up for this deal. Fridays offer free pool on Friday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. They are also one of two bars that have air hockey and never offer live music or karaoke.

But the bathroom is a different story. Dingy and dark, it’s almost better that way, you don’t want to see the condition of the annually-cleaned toilets. I’d recommend you use the farthest stall since it is the least well lit.

Bo’s ‘n Mine

With a lot of space to stretch out, Bo’s is a great place to get some food and grab a drink or two or 10. The owners are trying to get more into a restaurant scene, and because of that their drink specials have gone down.

They do have a spectacular set up for Guitar Hero competitions, but since the craze has died down, the large screen has gotten dusty.

The bar has a really nice, cozy atmosphere and is a good place to belly up and hang out with close friends and play trivia. And if you’re there from 9 p.m. to close and get hungry, Bo’s offers half-priced appetizers. You can always count on $1 domestic taps and $2 cheap rails. And ladies, there’ll always be a clean stall available for you.

Shooter’s Pub

If you’re looking for weekend live music, you can count on Shooter’s to have it. And they have a nice little dance floor to rock out on, too-especially if it’s Chimney Fish playing. But this isn’t a music review, this is a bar review, and I greet Shooter’s with open arms.

With Strongbow on tap, phenomenal build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and free peanuts (if you find a three-nutter you get a free shot), great bartenders and live music on weekends, you can always count on a good night.

And even though I’ve never been inside the men’s room, I’ve heard that there’s actually a stall door inside-and apparently that’s a big deal. And for the ladies there’s moisturizing lotion.

One thing Shooter’s lacks is patron consistency, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some days it’ll be packed, and others not so much.

Shooter’s recently adopted a new week long drink special list. I’m really excited for Double Shot Tuesdays with two shots in every drink, but I like my drinks strong. Really strong. They’ve also added Victoria Secret Gift Certificate drawings Saturday at 10 p.m.

PR’s Place

PR’s is either unheard of or easily recognized, depending on how close you live to it. You get the best of both worlds with sports bar and night club joining one venue. And the owners will argue you to the floor that they have the best live music venue in River Falls.

It has great potential for live music with a nice set up and lots of space, but I’ve never seen a music event with more than 15 people participating there. In mid-March and April, Texas rock music bands are scheduled to come, and PR’s is aiming for two to three national acts a month, whether it’s music, comedians or hypnotists. You can check out more information at PRsplace.com.

Every Friday night that there are UFC fights, you’ll find them on the screens at PR’s and dollar taps behind the bar. When there aren’t any bands playing, Friday nights are also 18+ Dance Club nights. Come warmer months volleyball courts and bean bag games will be available. Until then, warm up by the fire place.

The Corner Saloon

You can come to The Corner to be yourself, to be an individual, and you let others be that way, too. Possibly my favorite bar in town, the Corner Saloon is solid on live music, atmosphere, drinks and karaoke night. I hate karaoke, but at the Corner, it’s not just terrible singers pretending they’re Beyonce. But then again, I’ve never heard anyone there try to sing Beyonce…

There’s always a place to hang your coat, to set your drink, to be loud and to be quiet. The bar is divided into two partitions, the main bar and a back room where they have a wide variety of live music, from hip-hop to 80s, acoustic and metal.

Ladies, no one is going to break the door down to the bathroom or get into the stalls.

If you can’t decide what kind of shot to get, pay $2 and spin the Lucky Shot Wheel and get one of 25 or 30 random shots.

Abby Maliszewski is a student at UW-River Falls.