KALAMAZOO, MI — Shakespeare’s Pub in downtown Kalamazoo will celebrate its 16th anniversary with a delicately planned beer list featuring 44 options never poured in town.
It sounds easy enough, but given the longevity of the business and the number of craft beer options currently available in town — it’s no easy task.
Co-owners Ted Vadella and Scott Makohn host several major parties each year, including St. Patrick’s Day and Oberon release day. Starting at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 19, Shakespeare’s Pub, 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave., and will again welcome the masses, this time for its 16th anniversary celebration.
Each year, Vadella agonizes over his beer list and the same will be the case this year. While you’re enjoying a pint of carefully-selected beer, here are 16 things to know and/or appreciate about Shakespeare’s Pub:
- 1. The name stems from the Shakespeare’s Company. It was founded by William Shakespeare Jr. in 1897 and eventually became a leading manufacturer of fishing equipment. In 1942, Shakespeare’s shifted from making fishing equipment to war material for World War II, including parts for B-52 bombers. You can see references to the fishing industry all around the bar.
- 2. Popcorn: The venue has provided free popcorn since it opened.
- 3. Massive patio: The patio seats more than 120 people. It recently added shade sails. It’s also a great spot to hear live music at the nearby Arcadia Creek Festival Site. Overall, Shakespeare’s can host 525 people.
- 4. Free parking: The bar and restaurant is one of the few large free parking options in town.
- 5. Shakespeare’s Pub opened on July 19, 2003, and immediately embraced the emerging craft beer scene — something not nearly as commonplace as it is today.
- 6. Shakespeare’s Pub boasts one of the largest bars in the city, allowing plenty of guests the ability to saddle up at the bar.
- 7. The longtime staple of downtown nightlife, it’s always a great spot to see familiar faces.
- 8. Ted and Scott like to reward their staff, including with trophies. They hand out “Server of the Year” and “Employee of the Year” awards.
- 9. Don’t forget about the food, in particular the pizzas. Our staff is also particularly fond of the nachos (mmmm, queso dip!) and the soft fish tacos.
- 10. Group accommodations: You’d be hard-pressed not to find a weekend where Shakespeare’s isn’t hosting a birthday party, family reunions or other milestone celebration.
- 11. Among its biggest days of the year is when Shakespeare’s hosts Oberon Day with Bell’s Brewery Inc. Few places in the state sling as much Oberon as Shakespeare’s.
12. Shakespeare’s is home to the biggest St. Patrick’s Day bar celebration in town.
- 13. Some of the most inventive Kalamazoo Beer Week events have happened at Shakespeare’s Pub. For example, Dark Horse Brewing Co. and Shakespeare’s teamed up for an “Anti-Beer Dinner” featuring beer and microwaved items, including Hot Pockets and Pop Tarts.
- 14. The Shakespeare’s Lower Level, the entertainment venue below the bar, is one of the few venues in town to consistently host live comedy.
- 15. There are currently 1,081 tap handles hanging from the ceiling of the bar/restaurant.
- 16. Ted Vadella & Scott Makohn: It’s rare to see two friends enter a business venture together and succeed/thrive for such an extended run. Appreciate it.
THE LIST (Subject to Change)
1. Root Beer- Dark Horse Brewing
2. TBA- Dark Horse Brewing
3. Dry Dragon- Perrin/Kuhnhenn Brewing
4. Rumball- Lagunitas Brewing
5. TBA- New Holland Brewing
6. Just a Pinch- Rogue Brewing
7. Vanillaston Brown- Old Nation Brewing
8. Pineapple Intremo IPA- Old Nation Brewing
9. Thai Ginger Chili- Deschutes Brewing
10. Marionberry Dissident- Deschutes Brewing
11. Blushing Brut Rose IPA- Deschutes Brewing
12. Gin Barrel Hop Henge- Deschutes Brewing
13. Gossip Ale- Bell’s Brewing
14. Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Stout- Bell’s Brewing
15. Plum Gose- Bell’s Brewing
16. This Split is Bananas- Odd Side Ales
17. Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat- Odd Side Ales
18. Double Fruitsicle (TBA)- Odd Side Ales
19. Peach Golden Ale- Odd Side Ales
20. Mineshaft Gap- Revolution Brewing
21. Boss Ryeway- Revolution Brewing
22. Savage Nelson- Arbor Brewing
23. Flying Buffalo White Russian- Griffin Claw Brewing
24. Pub3000- Short’s Brewing
25. Lake Life IPA- Short’s Brewing
26. Pomace Cult- Starcut Ciders
27. Wild Blueberry Cider- Blake’s Ciders
28. Mango Cider- Sierra Rose Ciders
29. La Folie PX (Nitro)- New Belgium Brewing
30. F** Yeah Cakes (Nitro)- Right Brain/Starving Artist Brewing
31. Cotton Candy Therapy-Right Brain/Greenbush Brewing
32. Hotbox Coffee Porter-Oskar Blues Brewing
33. After Sesh- Cigar City Brewing
34. Humidor Series IPA- Cigar City Brewing
35. Grateful Head- St. Ambrose Cellars
36. Blueberry Lavender Cider Shandy- Farmhaus Ciders
37. Sangria-Woodchuck Ciders
38. Cucumber Crush- 10 Barrel Brewing
39. One and the Same- Greenbush Brewing
40. Nothing at All- Short’s Brewing
41. Honey Root- Short’s Brewing
42. Mucho Lupu- Founders Brewing
43. Pina Colada Haze- Big Lake Brewing
44. Tropical Redhead- ACE Ciders