Because very few people work on Thanksgiving, the night beforehand is a busy time for bars and restaurants as families and friends catch up over drinks and a meal they don’t actually have to cook. Some people even refer to the Wednesday before as “Drinksgiving,” a time to enjoy good beer and delicious cocktails in preparation for the abundance of calories consumed the next day.
If there’s one thing East Lansing, Michigan is known for, it’s the lively bar scene. Throughout the downtown strip, there are 14 bars alone and even more pubs throughout the downtown city outside of Grand River Avenue.
The Peanut Barrel
This classic tavern has what any bar does—a good burger, fries, sandwiches, and more. It’s famous for its signature Long Island Iced Tea. The Peanut Barrel is cozy and charming. Guests have a selection of draft beer, wine, and bottled beer. Take out beer and growlers are also available.
Wednesday Special: Pint Night, $1 off all pints.
HopCat East Lansing
This eclectic bar is a stomping ground for college students and East Lansing residents. HopCat’s goal? To bring you great beer. They have over 100 draft beers, all of which are craft. As for the food, it’s delicious and well-thought out for the guest in mind. They’ve won several awards including, “Best Fries” and “Best Place for Craft Beer.” Growlers are also available for takeout.
Wednesday Special: Late Night Happy Hour from 10 p.m. to close with $3 Local 20 beers, wells, and wine.
The Black Cat Bistro
If you’re looking for a little bit of elegance, The Black Cat Bistro is a contemporary bar scene. Local ingredients and multi-cultural dishes are their specialties. Wine, cocktails, and signature Bloody Mary’s are on the list of favorites.
Wednesday Special: Wine Wednesday, half-off most bottles of wine
The Field House is new to downtown East Lansing. This craft sports bar has been around for years under another name (Peppino’s), but since branched off with a similar menu style along with specialty pizza, an extensive draft and bottle selection, and delicious Big Ten martinis. Try the Spartini, which includes sour apple vodka, hard cider, and lemonade.
Wednesday Special: Wing Wednesday
6 Wings for $5
12 Wings for $9
$3 House Wine
$4 Long Islands, Long Beaches, and Sparty on the Beach
Dives are known to have some of the best food and beer, and for Crunchy’s, this is definitely the case. Crunchy’s doesn’t do anything halfway. The scribbled walls and hanging string lights create a cozy atmosphere for enjoying an IPA, a bucket of beer with friends, and some sharable pizza nugs.
Wednesday Specials: Live music all day
Burger Special: The Famous Crunchy Burger, Fries & Pop for $6.29
Chicken Special: Chicken Sandwich, Fries & Pop for $6.29
Add a pint for $.50 or a mug for $1.50 (Miller Lite or Labatt Blue)
No one drinks beer quite like the Irish. The downtown Irish pub is popular for college students, especially on half-off Wednesdays. The pub has a charming restaurant atmosphere with a bar scene extending into the back of the building as it opens up to a dance floor.
Wednesday Special: Half-off drinks
Harrison Roadhouse & the Roadhouse Pub
This bar was once a Shell gas station in the early 1900s, but has since been the place for live music, good beer, and food fresh off the grill. It’s a great place to take the family out for a casual drinks. The Harrison Roadhouse is the main restaurant, but in the back of the lot is a 21+ bar, the Roadhouse Pub, with billiards and arcade games.
Roadhouse Pub Wednesday Specials:
$4 All Captain Morgan flavors
$4 Craft pints
Whatever bar you choose on “Thanksgiving Eve,” be sure to ride home safely with an Uber or a cab.
East Lansing Cab Numbers
DD’s Downtown Taxi: 517-252-6698
iCab Taxi Service: 517-215-7910
L-TOWN Cab: 517-706-7992