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After a Half-Year Hiatus, College Dropouts Returns to Redesigned Tempe Spot

Published: Thursday, September 8, 2011

Updated: Thursday, September 8, 2011 17:09

College Dropouts

College Times • Ryan A. Ruiz

Kevin Jones says the pieces fell together to reopen College Dropouts.

After a six month lull, the ASU-adjacent watering hole, College Dropouts, is back at its original location just in time for football season.

The bar, which opened last Thursday for the ASU vs. UC-Davis opener, closed its doors last February due to lease complications with the landlord, said owner Kevin Jones. But after months of struggling to occupy the space – and with football season in sight – Jones and his landlord were able to work out lease terms that worked for both of them.

"I pretty much saw a huge opportunity for me," Jones said. "I kept on having people asking me about it, [so] I pulled the trigger on it and threw everything together as quick as possible to have it ready for football season."

And by working 20-hour shifts for 21 days, College Dropouts is back in business providing ASU students with the needed sustenance (i.e. beer) between classes and on game days.

The decision to stay at the same location, which is conveniently just a stone's throw from Sun Devil Stadium, was an easy one. "I've always loved this location," said Jones. "It's a spot that has always been a part of ASU since the ‘80s – It's one of those staples."

But bar-goers should expect to see some changes to the newly remodeled bar. "It's entirely different," said Jones. "I totally did everything that I wanted to do and this time I'm actually happy."

First of all, the building has been modified. The space went from 3,500 square feet to 2,300 square feet. The other side, which is now occupied by t-shirt shop Artizen Organics, was mainly used for local bands that played at the bar. But Jones said he's happier with the smaller space.

"It will be a lot better vibe," Jones said. "It was almost too big, it was almost like a warehouse, whereas this time it will have a more local neighborhood college vibe."

College Dropouts will stay true to the college theme it had before, but this time the bar will have a more laid back, loungy atmosphere complete with new couches, a brand new oak bar and more TVs. A fire pit and picnic tables will be added to the back patio and the street-facing windows will become a bay door that will open up to an extended patio, said Jones. "We are trying to have a casual drink environment where you can actually converse and have a beer," he adds.

There have been some changes to the beer selection too, with more local brews this time. The bar will have five local breweries on draft, including Four Peaks, Sleepy Dog and Lumberyard, as well as other handcrafted beers.

The bar, which popularized the "Drinking with Lincoln" penny drinks, will have plenty of other drink specials throughout the week, but as of right now, Jones is holding off on the penny drink special until further notice.

Until then, patrons can enjoy two-for-one drink specials every Friday, a local artist acoustic set on Saturday nights and the NFL ticket on Sundays. But what Jones is looking forward to the most are game days. Normally, the bar sees anywhere from 800 to 2,000 people through the door on days that ASU plays, Jones said. "It's a huge party on game days," he said. "You can't even begin to describe it, you just have to come by and check it out."

College Dropouts, 560 S. College Avenue, Tempe, 480.967.2536

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