With two massive floors – the second floor shelving out over the first and supported on stilts like the horse in its logo – an outdoor patio, beautiful, labyrinthine interior and in-house brewery, The High Horse is the most modern bar in town, and the most frequented by a long shot. Functioning chiefly from its bottom floor by day (which doubles as a restaurant), its nightlife is housed mostly upstairs, where its five pool-tables, long, dark-grained wooden bar and side-boards are besieged by young, well-dressed patrons in a low-lit, uproarious atmosphere which never flags until a while after last-call.
Located on the tail-end of East Pleasant Street on the town’s main strip, The Spoke is busy 100% of the time, especially during the warm, summer months. With a small, well-furnished interior, low-lighting, and free, never-empty bowls of chips and candy, The Spoke is a quieter, more homey alternative to the two sports bars at its back – and the best place in town to enjoy an afternoon beer in the sun. Address & phone number: 35 E Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002 +1 (413) 549-7140
VFW Post 754
Located on a more remote intersection of Main Street, the VFW is easy to miss, which explains its reputation as the best-kept secret of Amherst’s night-life. Frequented in day-light by regulars and their families, the bar transforms at night into a popular venue for college students – attracted no doubt by the lowest prices in town and a legal sanction on smoking indoors. Popular particularly on free pool night (Thursday), and during the regular weekend rush, the bar is a great hangout spot for younger crowds. Proceeds from all liquor sales are directed towards the Veteran Relief Fund. Address & phone number: 457 Main Street, Amherst, MA +1 (413) 253-9286
Stackers. Hoodsie DeQuincey/Flickr
Bar, Pub, American, Beer, Wine, Pub Grub
The Pub. L. | Flickr
Named for its daunting six-patty burger, Stackers is a popular venue among college students and sports fans. Stackers is a fixture of weekend nightlife on Amherst’s main strip. With a friendly staff, all-black-painted interior, and a bar backed with two massive flat-screen TVs, Stackers is very much representative of the classic American sports bar.
Functioning during the day as a family-style restaurant – complete with an arcade corner, alfresco patio seating and a digital jukebox – The Pub is also one of the largest venues in Amherst, and, after 9pm, is host to a number of variously-themed dance nights for the local colleges. Well-known for its high-quality pub-food, friendly service, and ebullient atmosphere, The Pub is as well visited for a casual lunch with friends and family as for the social opportunities offered in its later hours. Food service is offered until 10pm.
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Situated on Main Street along the same corridor as Amherst Cinema and Osteria Vespa, Amherst Coffee serves as the town’s one and only coffee-house-and-estaminet. With an impressive selection of wines and an upscale atmosphere, Amherst Coffee is one of the few bars in downtown to remain largely untouched by college students and sports culture. The perfect venue for an aperitif, digestif, or after-movie drink, Amherst Coffee fills an important niche in Amherst’s nightlife, avoiding competition with the more numerous restaurant-and-sports-bars.
A sprawling sports bar and restaurant located on University Drive that’s just five minutes from UMass Amherst, Amherst Brewing Company is well-provided with endless opportunities for business from the neighboring college. With two floors, a game room, and quality selection of house-brewed ales and lagers, it strikes a perfect balance between the classy and informal, hosting numerous events from live music to trivia nights.
An aviation-themed sports bar on a bustling intersection off University Drive with a low-ceilinged interior, large crowd-capacity and an endless variety of town-famous chicken-wings, The Hangar is another perfect place for a pub-dinner and beer, informal family lunch or loud night on the town. It’s popular among college students, sports fans, and aviation enthusiasts.