Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The best bars in Amherst

Lindsey Davis/Collegian File Photo

Whether you’re searching for a down and dirty dive or a dashing and pleasantly upscale drinkery, look no further than downtown Amherst’s North Pleasant Street, where the strip’s line of bars doesn’t skimp on atmosphere or alcohol selections.

From sports bars to brew pubs, downtown’s bar scene is chock full of unique and entertaining locales with brews, cocktails and coasters at-the-ready to set the evening’s mood and quench your thirst.


A great place to socialize and hang out any day of the week, Stacker’s always has a line out the door. While the wait in line can be trying – especially on weekends – the service inside is exceptional. It rarely takes too long to grab a beverage from Stacker’s attentive bartenders. Crowds keep the joint hot, but a back patio is open and offers some fresh air and breathing room. Tuesday’s karaoke nights always attract quite the crowd, and if wannabe Alicia Keys isn’t any good, at least the beers are heavy enough to drown her out. Flavored margarita pitchers are also a favorite order, especially for groups of friends. During football season, Stacker’s is the place to watch a game because the bar is frequented by sports fanatics and features a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. The metaphor is loose, but there is something to sipping a Bloody Mary while watching men beat each other up on the field or argue player stats across the table. A popular destination for hungry bar goers, Stacker’s also offers a cheap food menu.

High Horse

As downtown’s token hipster bar, the High Horse is best known for its specialty beers, many of which are brewed locally and seasonally. To experience the High Horse, it is necessary to try at least one (or five) of the bar’s local brews. Located in the former Amherst Brewing Company’s building, the dark and cavernous is decorated with abstract art and posters of popular culture icons like Bob Marley. There’s plenty of space to socialize with friends, shoot some pool or mingle with strangers. If the evening’s drinks suppress your memories, the bar even features a photo booth to help you document how much fun you’re having. The High Horse also has a restaurant section downstairs and a food menu so hungry bar goers can munch while they drink.

McMurphy’s Uptown Tavern

Best known for hosting everyone’s favorite day of debauchery, Amherst’s own “Blarney Blowout,” McMurphy’s draws a boisterous and wild room nearly every night.  “Guitar Dudes,” the bar’s weekly Wednesday event, fills the pub early with students looking to hear their favorite cover songs and slam down a Drunken Leprechaun shot. This delicious green potion mixes flavors of coconut and pineapple and is easily one of the tastiest local cocktails.

Monkey Bar & Grill

While Monkey holds a reputation for attracting scheming freshmen with good fake IDs, what’s more important to note is how every night the bar is hopping. When the back room is open, the bar transforms into a bumping dance club, complete with a porch in the back. Usually, there is plenty of space to get your groove on. Monkey Bar also draws in the droves by frequently advertising that there’s no cover charge and offering dollar drafts to customers throughout the week.

Ashley Berger can be reached at [email protected].


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