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Posted on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 10:34 a.m.

Rick's in Ann Arbor named one of the top 25 college bars in U.S.

By Kellie Woodhouse

Come fall thousands of University of Michigan students will partake in one of Ann Arbor's quintessential college experiences: a visit to Rick's American Cafe.


Rick's American Cafe


Yup. They'll dance on Rick's sticky floors, fist pump to deafening music and sip on fishbowls filled with unidentifiable liquor.

Ah, college.

Well, believe it or not, the experience has been deemed so remarkable that Rick's on Church Street in Ann Arbor is listed as one of the top 25 college bars in the country, according to an August ranking by The Daily Meal.

Number 24 to be exact - and the only one in Michigan.

The Daily Meal looked at beer selection, drink specials, dance availability, music, prices, food availability, cover charges, location and games when compiling the ranking.

Do you agree?

If not, let us know your favorite nearby college bar in the comments section below.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

Some of my most "monumental" nights occurred at Rick's! $1 U-call it's>>>***


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

Based on the fact that so many Ann Arborites seem disgusted by the selection, it probably means Ricks is everything a fun College Bar should be. Glad Ann Arbor has a little bit of character left.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

oops! That would be "could", not "go".


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Give it a try and see for yourself - a place only a desperate undergrad go love.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

UMMMMM!! The scintillating aroma of stale beer, urine, and vomit, overlaid with too much fragrance - who wouldn't stand in line for that?!

The Stallion

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

Ricks!? I cant believe the nerve The Daily Meal for choosing them and posting this on their site. This will only bring more unruly students downtown when I'm trying to sleep! I think we should start a petition to ban college bars from city limits along with fireworks, cigarettes, non energy efficient cars and loud music. Still debating whether or not we should allow having any fun all together : (

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 11:24 p.m.

Fun can be very dangerous...& we can't have that!!!


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

per #11 The Brown Jug UM #6 Crunchy's MSU


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

So obviously they rank them without setting foot in them? They probably secretly included "ease of getting in with fake ID" on the criteria list.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Wow, what a horrible selection for inclusion in the list. It's almost like they felt the need to choose an Ann Arbor / UofM bar, and chose arbitrarily. Because really, who cares at all anyway. Clicking through the daily meal slideshow, the other choices look pretty reasonable, actually. Ricks is a pathetic, disgusting, depressing waste of space.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 5:18 p.m.

Many people don't know this same place has been a bar for quite a long time, back into the 1970's at least. It was the Blue Frog when I met my future wife there in 1978. It wasn't that nice of a place then either, but I don't remember there being many fights and assaults like today.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 5:15 p.m.

"The Daily Meal looked at beer selection, drink specials, dance availability, music, prices, food availability, cover charges, location and games when compiling the ranking.' according to my study Banfields East is the best bar in North America. I looked at beer availability and proximity to my house.

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

Yeah a lot of people have been surprised by the choice of Rick's as a top college bar in the U.S. I'd be interested to know what place readers consider as the top college bar in Ann Arbor? Ashley's? The Brown Jug?


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

GTC's for sure.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

I would choose Dooley's. And I could defend that choice, if I had a working time machine. Probably well ahead of Rick's also was Second Chance / Chances Are etc... I have no idea if it is any good in it's current incarnation as Necto's. Anything current? Sorry, can't help you.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

I would choose Charlie's over Ricks.

Jenn McKee

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Ashley's appearance on such a list would have been far less of a surprise, I think.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

WholeDude - Whole Risk : Rick's American Cafe is in the 600 block of Church Street and not on South University Street. The building houses some office space rented by the University of Michigan. I had visited this building several times in the past on a regular basis. I have not gone to Rick's, but I am familiar with the crowd, and the noise it generates. I was not particularly happy with Rick's management as they would always leave the stairwell door open and that would give access to its patrons to get into the stairwell. These patrons use the stairwell to urinate or to vomit. Rick's must plan to provide a better environment to its patrons and to others who visit the 611 Church Street building.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Literally, a hole in the ground, with the nasty, musty atmosphere to boot. Don't know what I was thinking in my 20's.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

@Pizzicato -- "... a hole in the ground, with the nasty, musty atmosphere to boot." that's EXACTLY what you were thinkingin your 20s ... along with thousands of others - you are not alone.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 10:58 p.m.

@Richard: Correct me if I was wrong in the use of the word "literal." In addition, let me know if it's at all possible to build anything over a hole in the ground. If not, I'll have to reconsider a great many things in life.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

I am sure when we were in our 20's it was much better. It was so long ago, it was practically brand new...


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.

"Literally" ??? I remember seeing a building there.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

It's a "shark bowl," not a "fish bowl."


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

Perfect place to be punched in face. bring your mace! what a disgrace! i'll avoid dis place!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

Harry.... why do you sigh? please don't cry! have some pie! It'll be better by and by! Oh my!


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

I'm not sure I'd rank Rick's as one of the Top 25 college bars in Ann Arbor.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

Ick! Really?

Honest Abe

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 3 p.m.

Is it also named one of the Top 25 College bars for fights?


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

Beat me to it Abe. Kudos

An Arborigine

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

But where does it rank for number of fights spilling out into the street?


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

WELL below where Studio 4 and Cafe OZ ranked.....