Hello again, travelers. As the month of September is soon to be upon us, TSM has acknowledged that there will be a large influx of visitors flocking to West Virginia to bear witness the greatness known as Mother's Day Shrine just outside of Grafton. Some may be traveling for college football season as well. Whatever the reason you are spending a weekend in the North-Central West Virginia area, we have compiled a visitor's guide with some suggestions of a few places you should eat in Part I along as where to get your drink on and other notable attractions. Part II covers most tastes when it comes to the nightlife of Morgantown, specifically in the Downtown area. High Street is the main feature of this portion of the guide and it is worth noting that, while not Downtown, plenty of the restaurants previously mentioned in Part I serve and practically encourage alcohol. Keep in mind that DubVNightlife does a good job of keeping track of all the specials in most of the bars in the area. That being said, these are the five "big kid" (21 and over) bars that I personally endorse.
Very important point: This is written by a current WVU student. All of the locations that I mention below will be filled with people 21-30 years of age. This is not saying that anyone outside of this age range is unwelcome, but one must keep in mind that this is a college town. For any old timer's watering holes, check the comments.
Also good to mention: smoking indoors is prohibited in Morgantown. Bars will let you out for a smoke as long as you tell the doorman (be sure to do that if there is a line or cover charge.)
Gibbie's Pub & Eatery
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/Xs15y
Gibbie's is your classic, lovable pub with the occasional live music on the back stage. The atmosphere is normally rather festive regardless of the time of year. You will find some characters, but it is all in good fun. There are TVs for sports viewing, but it is mostly just for social drinking and looking out the front window and mocking the passers-by. It can get rather crowded (which can be said for all others on this list), but there is a side bar area toward the front that is very good for getting drinks quick and having some extra elbow room. Only complaint is that I can remember only one time that they didn't have a cover charge.
The Sports Page Bar & Grill
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/xpuEQ
The Sports Page or "Spage" is the go-to sports bar Downtown. Walk down a flight of steps and front door handle is a baseball bat. Kind of a small place, but it is worth mentioning that Spage has made sure that regardless of where you are in the joint, there are five TVs in your sight line. With a sports-heavy crowd, it is the ideal place to watch some MACtion weekday game and drink some brews with the boys. The waitresses wear a referee top with mid-drift showing and booty shorts. The pool tables on the right as you walk in provide some entertainment, so a group could easily set up shop there all night. I saw a few LSU fans there last year and the whole bar seemed to welcome them. Bad parts are that it can be a challenge to get a drink when busy and karaoke is on Friday... which can be obnoxious. Then again, have a few of the $3 Long Islands and you'll end up singing Country Roads like the rest of us.
Pro tip: Some Motown bars have lines outside around 10pm. This is one of them.
Morgantown Brewing Company
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/rG7l1
I love Morgantown Brewing Company aka "Brew Pub." They are a very good restaurant during the day and have a stellar eight microbrew line-up for the beer hounds out there. It is rather sizeable and it doesn't get too busy so it is the only one on the list that you don't have to worry with being crowded. Three dart boards that are eh-but-playable quality along with a foosball table. There are TVs, but it is mostly a place to sit outside on the deck and enjoy some of the local beers. My preference is the Eighty Schilling.... kinda tastes like bacon. Side effects are that it is down the hill from High Street, so you have to walk up a little bit to get back on the main strip.
Pro tip: the parking lot in the back is small, but there is one just farther down the hill that is two-hour parking for the rail trail (details coming in Part 3.) Two hours should at least hold you until another spot opens in the MBC lot.
Unexpected entertainment: Brew Pub happens to be located across the street from what I believe is a WV State Police drunk tank. Either way, you will see people getting arrested while playing darts. Always a good time.
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/CpEv8
Joe Mama's (formerly and famously De Lazy Lizard) is the first of the two big clubs in Morgantown. There is almost always a line to get in and a cover charge. That being said, this is a frat bro/sorority coed magnet. Usually a live band, but there are also dance floors and a good number of bars. I'm not a club person, so I don't really have much else to tell you other than it's very popular amongst the student body (which makes it notable) and Pat White used to go in there all the time (which makes it sacred ground.)
Google Maps http://goo.gl/maps/AVwsr
Bent Willey's is THE club in Morgantown. Joe Mama's has certainly made a name for itself, but Bent is the best that Motown can offer. This is where all the hot girls go to grind. Two floors with an outdoor deck/patio area, large dance floor, and (my personal favorite) the 80's room. The 80's room is a dance floor that only everyone is basically getting hammered and screaming Take On Me. Located directly off of Willey Street (pronounced Willy), while this isn't a place to just hang out, it's a pretty good time and offers a lot. I once was just standing in the 80's room drinking a beer and a girl came up and started grinding on me. If this is the kind of thing you're looking for, Bent is the bar to buy a girl a jolly rancher shot and get your game on. Bet your life there will be a line, but it doesn't usually last long and the cover is usually $3.
This list is certainly not covering all the nice hole-in-the-wall bars that Morgantown has to offer.... just the big ones. Part 3 will cover some notable attractions that you might like to visit during your stay in the area. Please, just like Part 1, leave your questions in the comments and I encourage other By-Godders to give some tips or recommendations.