There’s an old brick building on University boulevard, down by the Lurleen Wallace bridges. On the side of this building is a sign that reads “The Downtown Pub: Where Old Friends Gather and New Ones Meet” with a picture of a giant martini. My friends and I are pretty sure that no one’s ever actually ordered a martini at the Pub though. It’s not that kind of place. It’s also not the kind of place that lets a table full of girls sing along to “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Bear turned off the jukebox until they agreed to stop), and that’s why I love it.
The Pub is where you go when you want cheap beer and a low-key atmosphere. I won’t lie: the men’s bathroom tends to flood, the selection of beers on tap is limited (though they have plenty of variety in bottles), and the pool tables have seen better days, but everyone who’s been to the Pub more than a few times knows it grows on you. The pool is cheap, the drinks are strong, and the digital jukebox in the corner can play just about anything (seriously–it can search the web to find songs if they aren’t already on it), but the best thing about the pub is the people. And by people I mean bartenders. Visit the Downtown Pub with any kind of frequency and the bartenders get to know you by name. They’ve even been known to have my drink waiting by the time I reach the counter.
Like all but one of Tuscaloosa’s bars (the Alcove), the Pub is a smoking establishment, which may or may not suit your fancy. The place is big and ventilated enough that you can usually escape the smoke pretty easily though. If I get there early enough, I like to sit in a booth, but there’s plenty of tables and bar seating too. If you’re looking for happening college bar, look elsewhere (it’s is far enough away from campus to keep most of the undergrads away). If, however, you want to relax with a cheap pitcher of whatever’s on tap (usually some combination of Miller Lite, Sweetwater Blue, Sweetwater 420, Southern Pecan, and Yuengling), watch the game, and shoot some pool, the Downtown Pub is for you. It’s not the fanciest bar in town, but it’s one of a select few I find worth visiting.
The Downtown Pub is located at 2427 University Blvd, at the intersection of University and the Lurleen Wallace/Hwy 69 North bridge. (205) 750-0008