Local bars to get you through endless nights of studying

Daily Sundial

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As finals week rapidly approaches, it seems fitting that the Daily Spotlight publish something to help students with their studying. But as a semi-typical college student, I know that some blas? list of “study tips” would be about as helpful as instructions to construct a hot air balloon.

Instead, it seems that as crunch time begins to crunch, lots of students will realistically fight back by boozing it up. And as we begin to outgrow hastily assembled house parties, there is no better place to drink than at local watering holes.

A lot of college newspapers publish weekly lists of local bars that hold special events or welcome cool local bands. But since we don’t have much within walking distance besides a Wienerschnitzel and a Rite-Aid, here is a guide for all those CSUN students who’d rather spend this and next weekend happily buzzed.

Needless to say, these are for the 21 and over crowd:

* With the burning down of Pickwick’s Pub in Woodland Hills, Scotland Yard (22041 Sherman Way, Canoga Park) is suddenly one of the most interesting places to grab a pint of Newcastle near CSUN. This English pub, which typically has a pretty good house band, is surprisingly full of smoke most of the time, and sports a fairly friendly crowd. As long as you don’t mind walking past teenagers going to Cobalt Caf?, which is right next door, this might be a good place to start.

* A great place to begin the weekend, Los Toros (21743 Devonshire Street, Chatsworth) is about as Valley as you can get. At the start of the weekend, this place is as crowded as that upper-division general education class you so desperately need to add on the first day of school. Lines form out the door, and patrons are left to park half a mile away on scarcely lit dirt roads. But it might be worth it if you get there early enough, and leave with plenty of time to go into the city later.

* Acapulco’s (9400 Reseda Boulevard, Northridge) is just a hop, skip and jump away from campus. Not a bad place to start the weekend, either, but an even better place to start a Monday afternoon, as their famous Margarita Mondays last all day. Ditch that 4 p.m. class and do everything you can to make your 7 p.m. class that much more pleasant.

* If you’re looking to avoid the University Student Union’s Pub Sports Bar and Grill, mainly because its “bar” is a countertop, another good place to sneak away to for a nice long lunch in the middle of the day is Chili’s (9200 Reseda Boulevard, Northridge). Get there early enough, and you can enjoy the closest thing we have to a “CSUN college bar” with the senior citizens who frequent the place late in the afternoon.

* If you’re looking for one of those “on-the-nose” sports bars to spend some time at and maybe watch an NBA playoff game, Harper’s Sports Bar and Grille (19333 Business Center Drive, Northridge) might be it. They were nice enough to host a fundraiser for Pickwick’s after it burned down, so it won my favor. And while I’ve heard it’s a bit “creepy-old-guy” on some nights, their weekend crowd is supposed to be pretty cool, as is their Friday-Saturday atmosphere. Plus, unlike Scotland Yard, they’ve got plenty of food.

* Since this is the Valley, your best bet for a good drink is probably some dive bar, and the areas surrounding Northridge have plenty of them. The most famous of which is probably The Norwood (16200 Nordhoff Street, North Hills), a little hole in the wall stuck in the same strip mall as a Starbuck’s and adjacent to a library. The College Inn (8640 Lindley Ave, Northridge) is a personal preference of mine just because it’s a small tavern that has Guinness and Coors on draft. My friend tells me that if a college crowd could infiltrate the place, it might be our best chance at a “genuine” college bar.