Students List Favorite Bars Close To Campus

by James Leonard | Staff Writer

SCRANTON – Many bars downtown are closed because of COVID-19. Out of the ones that remain open, which are most popular among students who are 21 and older?

According to the governor of Pennsylvania’s website, “As COVID-19 cases have declined and vaccination rates are climbing, Governor Tom Wolf today announced the lifting of some targeted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses, as well as increased gathering limits.”

As of April 4, restaurants can proceed with full bar service without the purchase of food. Establishment capacity will also be raised to 75%.

Here are some of the top open bars within walking distance from campus.


Located at 101 Adams Ave, Bartari is a very interactive establishment. Individuals can go there who are not 21 to play games like pool, Jenga and a wide variety of arcade games and also enjoy a wide variety of bar food which ranges from appetizers such as wings and cheese curds to more hardy meals like nachos and sandwiches.

The bar’s cocktail menu is expansive and keeps to the theme of the bar. The menu includes cocktails with names like “Cuke Nukem” and “Princess Peach” to keep to the arcade theme.

Junior Political Science major Abby Allen enjoys going to trivia night at Bartari on Tuesdays with her friends.

“I usually get a Gin and Tonic with three limes, but they have a lot of fun specialty cocktails,” Allen said.

Allen also stressed that it is important to make reservations at the bar in order to secure good seating. Patrons are encouraged to leave their seats to go play games.

“Trivia night is really fun especially with all of the people participating there. They have topics with geography, history, sports, music, medical and a whole bunch more.”

Junior Melissa Menagh also frequents Bartari and enjoys the food there.

“The fries there are really good and we had nachos a few weeks ago which were also very good and not too expensive,” Menagh said.

The bar, restaurant and arcade will remain open later with the new legislation but only individuals 21 and over can stay past 9p.m.


Whiskey Dicks

Located at 308 N Washington Ave, Whiskey Dicks offers a traditional bar experience for students. The doors to the outside are always open and allow for good airflow with COVID-19 concerns continuing to loom.

Although Whiskey Dicks is on the smaller side, it offers a large amount of seating around the bar for patrons.

Junior EJ Endaya recently went to Whiskey Dicks for the first time and had a positive experience.

“The atmosphere is really fun and all of the staff were really nice,” Endaya said. “Not to mention the pretty budget friendly drinks.”

Endaya said that one can order any mixed drink for three dollars and specialty drinks like a Long Island Iced tea go up in price.

“Beer is really cheap and it appears like there are a good amount of deals on different beers throughout the week,” Endaya said.

Whiskey Dicks is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.



Just past the Rite Aid in the Square is Tequila, located at 414 Spruce St.

Senior Lindsay Roberto said she liked Tequila, but it did not feel like a bar.

“Tequila is a great bar however due to the limitations of seating it feels more like a good restaurant with drinks than a bar with food,” Roberto said.

Although she thought the atmosphere was lacking, Roberto continued by saying she thought the food was good.

“I thought the food was good and I’ve heard it from others as well. I would go there without the expectation of going to a bar. The Margaritas are very good.”

The menu offers traditional Mexican dishes ranging from nachos and quesadillas to tacos and enchiladas. A wide variety of drinks are available from Mexican beer and cocktails to not so Mexican beers like Leinenkugels.

Tequila has limited hours and is open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday.


The Railyard

The Railyard is a new bar located at 119 Jefferson Ave, where Kildares used to be. Many students enjoyed Kildare’s including Junior Miguel Valencia, who says The Railyard stands up to the challenge of replacing the old Kildares.

“I think the food and drinks are great,” Valencia said. “The place still feels like Kildrares but with a more modern twist and of course it’s the same building.”

Unlike Valencia, senior Lindsay Roberto had a bad experience at Railyard because of her need for a gluten free diet.

“This bar was a bit less accommodating,” Roberto said. “I had to make substitutions for Tito’s vodka which is gluten free and they charged me extra because Tito’s is a ‘premium vodka,’ which is absurd because it’s not super high quality.”

Roberto continued by stating how she thought the bar was more expensive than others downtown.

I didn’t even get any food and my total ended up being more than I would spend eating and drinking at tequila or backyard.

The manager of the bar and restaurant said, “We are always looking for students to come down. If you or anyone you know has suggestions for the menu feel free to contact us because we are still fleshing it out.”

The Railyard has a breakfast menu that transitions to lunch after 1p.m. patrons cannot sit at the bar due to COVID-19 guidelines but drinks are served from opening to closing. Fried dishes are available if asked for. Menu and more information can be found at the restaurant’s Facebook page –

Backyard Ale House

Backyard Ale House is a staple of Downtown Scranton. It is located at 523 Linden St, across from the courthouse in the square.

It not only offers patrons with a homey indoor bar area, but it is famous for its courtyard in the rear of the building.

The courtyard is closed off from the street to offer patrons with a more peaceful setting away from the business of downtown.

The menu offers an extensive list of IPA’s and locally brewed beers along with all of the run of the mill brews one can imagine.

Cocktails and mixed drinks are also not hard to come by.

Traditional American grill food is served along with many appetizers including a variety of different wing flavors.

Senior Lindsay Roberto said she likes Backyard because of the atmosphere and price.

“Backyard’s food, while not as good as tequila isn’t bad either,” Roberto said. :It is one of the best bars to look for if you are looking for a cheaper place to go out with your friends. Also there are more seating options available at Backyard than most bars around.”

Roberto said she thinks that Backyard Ale House has the best balance of atmosphere and quality.


Although these bars are open to almost full capacity, all of them enforce strict mask wearing guidelines unless one is seated at a table. Also avoid being too close to others to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19.