With Conway being the appropriately named “City of Colleges,” it comes as no surprise that Conway is littered with bars ranging from the local staples to chains that span across the states. With students plunging into the school year and stress slowly stacking, it’s time the uneducated learn where to get the best kind of stress relief—a cold beer and good food.
Not only does ZAZA offer the best salads, pizza and gelato in town, but the local brew and atmosphere make ZAZA top the list. The restaurant offers weekly events, such as karaoke and trivia, along with the occasional music or comedy show. The range of drinks—including local beer and wines with names you’re familiar with—makes this place an easy stop for any kind of bar experience. Whether you’re trying to just socially drink or have a night you might not remember, ZAZA can provide it. The atmosphere is really what sells the place. Not only is the restaurant clean, but the crew makes it worth going in. It’s no surprise when you see your favorite bartender or gelato-maker singing along to a cliché ’90s song during karaoke. This place offers the whole package: great food, great drinks and great people. ZAZA is located on 1050 Ellis Avenue and the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on weekends, though the bar stays open until the bartender calls last call (but no later than 2 a.m.).
2. BEARS DEN PIZZA
Affectionately called the “Dirty Den,” Bears Den is a local staple for both UCA students and anyone wanting a cheap drink in Conway. Despite everyone saying “I’m never going to be one of those people at the Den all the time,” your 21 birthday will come around, and yes, you will be one of those people at the Den all of the time. It is no surprise that the small space is always crammed with bodies. With a weekly schedule jam-packed with activities and a happy hour that can make even the poor indulge, the bar has much to offer. With giant Jenga on the patio, a pool table and a punching machine, you can always be entertained at the Den. The bar also has a fun vibe with beer cans hanging from the ceiling, chalkboard walls and a patio lit with christmas lights. You’re bound to have a good time. Bears Den Pizza is located on 235 Farris Road and is open from 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.
3. OLD CHICAGO
The chain spans across several southern states, but it’s definitely a stop for many students in Conway. Not only is the pizza delicious and the happy hour soft on the wallet, but the bar is littered in giant TVs that any sports fan will love. Not to mention, they have the largest beer tour in town. If you drink all the beer they have on tap (well over 100 beers) you can earn yourself a large stein. The bar also occasionally airs a dramatic wrestling match, which is entertaining to say the least. Old Chicago is located on 1010 Main Street and is open from 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
While Kings can be the pricier of these options, it’s the destination for local music and shows. You’re bound to have a friend or two compete in their music competitions, or have one of your favorite local bands play a gig or two. The bar is also home to weekly trivia and karaoke, same as other bars in Conway. If you’re wanting a place for a special occasion or event, you can even rent lounge areas in the two-story bar. Kings is located on 1020 Front Street and is open from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.
5. THE DRAFT
Known for their beer towers and giant TVs, this bar is always packed with local sports fans. This bar is huge, with a giant dining area and fire-lit patio. Grab your favorite sports fan, a beer tower and you’re bound to have a good time. The Draft is open from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. seven days a week.
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