Ten College Town Hangouts From The Past

college town hangouts

So much of the college experience happens outside the classroom. We pay homage to the gone but not forgotten student hangouts from of past. Whether it's the local watering holes, clubs, restaurants, shops, and more, we look to find and capture the nostalgia. Below are college hangouts that we spotlight and pay homage to.

Arizona State University

1. The Devil House 

The Devil House, located at 829 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281, was a dance club that opened in 1981 in Tempe, Arizona. It was a popular hangout for ASU students and 20-somethings. The club would later be renamed Club Rio. It closed in 2004.

2. After The Gold Rush

After The Gold Rush, located at 1216 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe, AZ 85281, was a nightclub that opened in the early 1980s and was located in Tempe, Arizona. This was a popular hangout spot for ASU students, especially since the drinking age back then was only 19. They had an upper stage as well as a lower pit for dancing. After the Gold Rush, they would also host live bands, which included Rage Against The Machine, Todd Rundgren, Kiss, Phish, Nirvana, and more. The club would close sometime in 1983, later reopening as the Electric Room.

3. Dooley's Tempe

Dooley's, located at 1216 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe, AZ 85281, was another popular student hangout and a nightclub in Tempe like no other in the '70s and into the '80s. They hosted legendary artists like Devo, Tom Petty, The Police, Muddy Waters, Elvis Costello, The Kinks, and Blondie. Dooley's closed in 1983.

University of Arizona

4. The Wildcat House

The Wildcat House, located at 1801 N. Stone Ace, Tucson, opened in 1977. It was a popular nightclub and longtime hangout spot for University of Arizona students. In the 1990s, more bars started to open, and the Wildcat House started to see a decline in its younger crowd. The club would hang on but eventually called it quits in 2012.

Baylor University

5. Baylor Drug

Baylor Drug, located at the corner of 5th Street and Speight Avenue, originally known as Barnett’s Pharmacy, opened in 1926. Baylor Drug was home to many memories for generations of Baylor students. The store became a favorite gathering place for students who would make the short run from Carroll Library to Baylor Drug to have a study break at the soda fountain. In 1981, Baylor Drug closed its doors after more than 50 years.

6. The Chicken Shack

The Chicken Shack, located at 1037 New Dallas Highway, Waco, TX, opened in 1934. It was a Waco favorite for Baylor students, fans, and visitors. Known for its special Leslie's Fried Chicken and their homemade rolls, served with butter and honey! There was even a popular Baylor tradition of throwing a dinner roll in hopes of making it over what was called the largest chicken in the world, a 17-foot landmark mounted on a large pole, believing a successful toss would bring good grades. After 60 years in business, Leslie’s closed in 1995.

Michigan State University

7. Dooley's E. Lansing

Dooley's in East Lansing opened in 1978 and was a popular nightclub and hangout spot if you were an MSU student in the '80s. It stuck around for more than 20 years until the owner was forced to sell the bar and restaurant in 1996 after the City Council refused to renew the liquor license, citing brawls, rowdy teenage dance nights, and underage drinking.

8. Spartan Hall of Fame Café

Although Spartan Hall of Fame Café is not from back in the day, it opened in 2007 and became a favorite get-together place for MSU students, alumni, associates, and enthusiasts. It had one of the largest collections of historic MSU memorabilia anywhere! Like many other restaurants and businesses, Spartan Hall of Fame Café couldn't withstand the challenges brought on by COVID and would permanently close its doors in 2021. Located at 1601 W. Lake Lansing Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823.

Ohio State

9. Papa Joe’s

Papa Joe's, home of the bucket of beer, was one of the most beloved bars on High Street back in the day for the students of Ohio State. Unfortunately, Papa Joe's burned down in 1996 and was never rebuilt. Take a trip down memory lane with this tee.

10. Mean Mr. Mustard's

Mean Mr. Mustard's, located at 1580 N. High St., opened in 1979 on High Street and was a local favorite for OSU students when it came to live music and a late-night hangout spot.

What was your go to hangout spot?

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