Six places students under 21 can party

Kurt Hanlon

After the unfortunate death of Michael Gatto outside Rude Rudy’s bar last August, a wave of changes swept through the Statesboro bar scene, especially affecting the businesses in and around University Plaza. Rude Rudy’s was closed down shortly after the incident, never to reopen, and Rusty’s Tavern located next door, raised the entry age to 21. Earlier this year, Rum Runner’s, another Statesboro bar, also closed its doors.

Last March, the Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 152, popularly known as Michael’s Law, which made it illegal for a person under 21 to enter a bar, which under the law is defined as gaining more than 75% of its revenue from alcohol purchases.

According to a ConnectStatesboro article, while no establishment in Statesboro currently falls under this definition, any venue audited and found to reach the 75% mark would be required to enforce 21 entry requirements.

Shenanigans, another bar located at the Plaza, made the decision to increase the entry age to 21 for its customers on October 8, after a Statesboro Police operation conducted in September, which revealed that underage patrons were still being served alcoholic beverages at the venue.

So where can underage students go now that the bars in the plaza have been made over 21? 

Senior computer science major Sunny Avery says that the Statesboro nightlife “gets by,” but recommends South City Tavern. “It’s a very chill atmosphere,” says Avery. “You’ve got pool tables, cornhole, they always have concerts featuring the local bands…probably one of the better bars you can go to.”

However, according to freshman accounting major Haley Waters, Statesboro bars aren’t really that important anymore.

“I go to apartments and house parties,” say Waters. “[The bars are] just kind of the same thing over and over again. The same people, the same places, the same situations.”

Adriene Jones, a senior psychology major, agrees that house parties can be a good source of fun, but also carry their own risks. 

“It just depends on where you’re at,” says Jones. “It could be the move, or it could be a disaster.”

A. Gnats

Gnats Landing, located on corner of South Main St. and Tillman Rd, is one of Statesboro’s premiers sports bars. Specializing in chicken wings, the venue also features two bars and a large porch, and frequently hosts karaoke nights.

B. Fuzzy’s

A popular restaurant chain, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, just off Veterans Parkway, serves Mexican cuisine, as well as a bar and walk up windows for access from its porch. Also featuring live music and activities such as corn-hole, the restaurant even allows customers to bring their pets on the porch.

C. Dingus

One of the longest standing bars in Statesboro, Dingus Magee’s is one of the longest standing bars in Statesboro. Located on Georgia Ave, directly across from Landrum, features a stage for live music, and is a Greek life favorite.

D. Southcity

Located on Chandler Road and only a short walk from the stadium, South City Tavern has a variety of different activities. Modeled after a “typical Athens bar” with a more open floor plan, South City offers food, corn-hole, pool and foosball tables, and often hosts live music.


Named for the famous line said by the late, great Coach Erk Russell, Gata’s Sports Bar and Grille is devoted to Georgia Southern football. Located off Lanier Dr., the sports bar has good food and a huge porch with a lake view. On game day, students can pay $20 dollars to park their cars there, see the game and return to receive a voucher for food there as well.

F. Midtown

Closer than the others to downtown Statesboro, Midtown Bar and Grill is a small establishment, but features pool tables as well as a long bar for talking with friends. Midtown frequently hosts parties, with music played by a live DJ.