Written by Aaron-Michael Fox and Cody Lambert.
This article is intended for readers 21 years of age or older.
The days are shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and it’s just about playoff/championship season for most fall sports. It’s the perfect time of year to head to the bar for a “tall boy” and some sports ball.
However, there is another, more hardcore, pastime for this time of year: the “pubcrawl.” Marshall students have had a few months to learn the spots downtown, but we wanted to take an opportunity to take you on a real downtown Huntington pubcrawl. This is our Ultimate Pubcrawl for fall 2023. Proceed with caution and drink responsibly.
1. Club Inn Between (212 20th Street)
Nestled just off of Third Avenue on Twentieth Street, Club Inn Between is very easy to miss, but we encourage you not to. It’s as close as you can get to Cheers in Huntington. Pinball? Check. Cheap beer? Check. A gruff but lovable bartender who will become your group’s mom if you need her to? Check.
The walls are covered from top to bottom with a wide assortment of paraphernalia that ranges in subject matter from discontinued brands of beer (Bud Ice Dry?) to an “Elect Ross Perot” sign hidden in the men’s bathroom. The Club Inn Between has existed since 1978 and moved locations at least once. But its current home, tucked neatly in the shadow of Joan C. Edwards Stadium, has everything you could want in a charming neighborhood hangout.
But it takes more than atmosphere to make it on our list—so what pushes the Inn Between over the top? Two reasons: 1. It’s right across from the Joan’s parking lot, and as long as it’s not game day, it’s a solid place to leave your car parked so you can get an Uber home (drink responsibly guys). And 2. The Inn Between has a fully functioning laundromat inside. Why is this not a more common business model? You can show up in sweats, drink a beer, eat a grilled cheese, and throw your good shirt in the dryer while you get ready for the rest of the night.
- Fat Patty’s (1935 Third Avenue)
On paper, Marshall University’s campus is completely dry. However, anyone who’s lasted longer than a semester there knows the truth—nothing eases the pain of a bombed PSC 205 exam like bacon cheddar fries and a few Blue Moons. Fat Patty’s isn’t technically on campus, it’s just surrounded by campus on all sides. A little island with a liquor license in a sea of academia.
Since its founding in 2007, Fat Patty’s has become the go-to place for Marshall sports fans. Within walking distance of both the Joan and the Henderson Center, if you’re going to root for the Herd, you need to experience Fat’s at least once. It’s green from top to bottom (yes, it’s not Kelly green, but we’re not going to split hairs) and decked out with more MU memorabilia than you could shake a section of goal post from the 2014 C-USA football championship at.
- Huntington Ale House (1318 Fourth Avenue)
The Ale House has had a plethora of names over the years: Gumby’s, The Thirsty Whale, The Whale, Club 1318, with each iteration changing the vibe slightly.
If you haven’t been to the Ale House in its current iteration, prepare for some of the best bar food you’ll find anywhere. So, load up on a burger and a craft brew. If you go on a Friday night, you can get their house prime rib which is as good as we’ve had anywhere outside Chicago.
- The Union (1125 Fourth Avenue)
Here are some things you need to know about The Union: 1. Ladies drink free on Thursday. 2. They may serve the most underrated wings in Huntington. 3. Trivia night gets unreasonably fun. 4. I JUST TOLD YOU HALF THE PEOPLE READING THIS CAN GO ON THURSDAY DRINK FOR FREE, EAT BOSS CHICKEN WINGS AND BUILD A TRIVIA TEAM WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? Okay, we’ve calmed down. We promise. The Union can get broey, annoying people love it, sometimes there’s a cover—all of these things should be deal breakers, but they aren’t. Pay the cover, squeeze through a line of frat boys, order a round of Fireball, and get ready to sing Bohemian Rhapsody as loud as you can.
- Black Sheep Burritos & Brews (279 Ninth Street)
We know what you’re going to say. “Black Sheep is a restaurant, not a bar! They’ll have closed by the time you get there!” That may be true for your standard group of work friends getting together on a Thursday night. But remember folks, this isn’t your run of the mill pubcrawl– this is the ultimate. We planned ahead and started at 5 p.m.
Also, Black Sheep just has a special place in our hearts; we couldn’t in good conscience write this article and not include it.
Black Sheep is home to a stand-up comedy showcase every other week and has always been a midpoint for the Jewel City’s music scene; a place where up-and-comers play a few sets before they move on to the Loud. Now, with the Black Sheep stage, it really feels like you’re performing somewhere that matters. So, swing by, order a Loud IPA or a Lavender Martini and catch the end of the Huntington Jazz Symphony show. Once the band clears out, we’ve got to keep moving.
- The Peddler (835 Third Avenue)
The Peddler, which sits on Third Ave directly across from the Delta by Marriott, is home to Huntington’s only brewing company and the brewing equipment dominates the interior. The rest of the decor (downstairs at least) is fun and quirky, if not a little all over the place. A video game theme blends with odd portraits of animals dressed like 19th century gentlemen (I’m told this beast is named “Boogercat”) and some Egyptian-ish statues of greyhounds. The bar is large and well stocked and serves up rotating house beers along with your traditional domestic staples. The real party, however, is upstairs.
The Peddler is a true barcade with several rows of stand up arcade games. Everything from some classic WWF games (We’re talking rastlin’ not snow leapards) to The Simpsons video game. They have ping pong and pinball, sniper shooters and three point shooters. This is as close as you can get to taking a six pack into Billy Bob’s Funland (PLEASE DON’T TAKE A SIX PACK INTO BILLY BOB’S FUNLAND).
- Summit Beer Station (321 9th Street)
Summit is the newest addition on our list. Summit started in a small space in Heritage Station and has blossomed into a full bar and biergarten on the 300 block of 9th Street now. The bar boasts an enormous beer and whiskey selection as well a rotating draft list. Summit has been named the “best beer bar” in West Virginia on several occasions for good reason. This should come as no surprise as the owner is one of the organizers of the annual “Rails & Ales” craft beer festival at Harris Riverfront Park. The whiskey menu is impressive, but they don’t exactly serve “cocktails.” Whiskey is available neat, on the rocks, or with water ONLY. This bar has something for every beer and whiskey connoisseur…just don’t try to order a “light” beer. You’ve been warned.
- The Jockey Club (938 Fourth Avenue)
Everybody doing okay? It’s been a long trip, but we’re on the home stretch back onto 4th Avenue at the Jockey Club. The Jockey Club recently changed ownership and got a facelift on the inside with new pictures and decor. However, the general atmosphere remains as it has for several years. This place is decked out to resemble a Victorian era retreat for some posh English aristocrat, but your scummiest dirtbag friends will still fit right in. They also have the best “mocktails” in the city and some of you might need to slow down for a minute. Otherwise, grab one of the Jockey Club’s unbelievably well-made Mojitos and savor it.
- Hank’s (1019 Fourth Avenue)
The last stop before midnight munchies is Hank’s. What can be said about Hank’s? If you’ve ever been, you understand the atmosphere and the clientele. If you’ve never been, we couldn’t describe it to you. It’s like if a Huntington yearbook became a bar. It’s where Huntington’s glitterati mingle with off-duty drag queens. On any given night you could run into anybody in the city having a drink. Hank’s is right behind Sheetz as the hub of downtown Huntington. You’ll have the best time you won’t remember here.
- Rocco’s Little Italy (1345 Fourth Avenue)
So, you made it, you survived the Ultimate Pubcrawl! Now, as is tradition, it’s time to cap everything off with food from one of Huntington’s all-night restaurants. Sure, you could go to DP Dough, or Jimmy John’s, or maybe even Z Brick Oven pizza. But us? We’re going to Rocco’s Little Italy.
Where else in America will you find an Italian restaurant that specializes in cheese steaks and is owned and operated by Korean immigrants? They are open till 4:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays selling spaghetti, sandwiches, and buckets of chili. Miss Jung is always there, looking overworked, but ready to go.