Arena Bar and Grill
Taps: 50 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
3.78/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$
Found this place on BA while in Wilkes-Barre. The parking lot was jam packed, but once I got in I realized it was pretty spacious. It looks somewhat of a chain restaurant mixed with a sports bar. They had about 40 beers on draft as well as about 200 bottles or so. The draft list was categorized into styles and the bottle list was categorized by country of origin. Each beer had all the pertinent information i.e. brewery, name, style, abv etc. All the usual suspects from Germany, Belgium,. and a boatload from the US. Virtually every major style available and a few more uncommon. The servers were very attentive and no one left you waiting with an empty glass. The people at the bar were very friendly and the food was pretty tasty too. Check this place out. One of the better beer bars outside of a city.
I forgot to mention they have crazy happy hour specials somewhere int he range of 5-7 and also 10-12. I was informed every beer on the draft list was $2 during those hours. That's hard to beat.
08-16-2013 00:20:53 | More by BeerForMuscle
1/5 rDev -73.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | food: 1 | $$$$
I frequent Arena weekly and have never ran into a problem until tonight. There was a Memorial Day special that clear stated in multiple advertisements that mixed drinks were $2. Having been to restaurant numerous times and being familiar with the menu my girlfriend and friend ordered drinks under the section labeled "Mixed Drinks" thinking they would be $2 as posted near everywhere, except the incoherent server-in-training who mentioned some sort of list but never bothered to bring us said list or inform us that the drinks beig ordered were in fact the full $5, until both were at least 2 drinks in a piece. We requested to speak to the manager from a snippy waitress that was overseeing the trainee. Five minutes later we were informed by the trainee that the manager was not willing to see us because it was busy. We said we would wait. When the manager did arrive nearly 40 minutes later, she waived our calm explanations of a mix up off, refusing to admit any error on her part or the trainees stating the ads were clear, even though they were not. After trying to explain further she walked away mid-sentence of my friend and refused to even come back near our table. The snippy waitress cooled off and tried to get the manager back to the table but we sat there for an hour and a half longer before finally deciding Arena Bar & Grill is not worth any more of our time, nor should it be worth a second of anyone else's. so much for putting the customer first. $5 cover for the worst experience I, and my party, have ever had.
05-27-2013 05:14:33 | More by Awscjr
4.33/5 rDev +16.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
The Arena Bar and Grill in Wilkes Barre has a great selection both bottles and draft beers. The draft beer line up is especially impressive as they have about 50 beers on tap, most of which constantly rotate. Normal pricing is alright. Pretty much exactly where it should be for what the particular beer you want to try is. Where this place especially shines for a beer taster is the happy hours they do throughout the week. Most draft beers including many very nice craft beer choices are only $2 a draft during happy hours. This is a great way to try many very good beers whether you are new to beer tasting or a seasoned veteran. When they are very busy however it is difficult to get a seat at the bar and service can take awhile. If you don't mind leaving the table and standing by the bar for a drink though you can still get served pretty quickly. The staff seems fairly knowledgeable about beer but the menu gives such detailed descriptions of each beer that its rare you would even need to ask too much. The menu is really good but nothing is over-the-top amazing that I would go there specifically for. I usually order sweet potato fries and/or the tuna wrap (both definitely worth a try if you are already there). Overall, its a great bar and their Sunday night happy hour (9pm-11pm) is definitely the best thing you could do if you're looking to kill some time on a Sunday night. Wish they didn't take out the pool tables though as there isn't much to do besides sit, talk, and drink.
01-10-2012 18:32:48 | More by ssznyter
3.83/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
At "The Arena" you'll find a nice tap selection. Lots to choose from here. From local offerings like Breaker Brewing, Bullfrog, Fegley's to nice Belgian offerings like St. Bernardus, Chimay, Duchess and Delirium plus lots more. Always rotating. Nice bottle selection here too. Flower Power, Jolly Pumpkin, Hoppin Frog, Founders just to name a few.
The food at the arena is pretty good. Alot better than it used to be. I love their cheesesteak wrap with a side of onion straws. Delicious! During happy hour they have $2 apps and $2 drafts.
Only downside to the arena is the borderline terrible service when it's busy. Very disorganized and slooow. No jukebox. And the radio they play is all pop bullsh!t.
Other than that I enjoy coming here for some good beer. Can't until The Companion gets tapped!
12-09-2011 20:31:18 | More by muletrane
4.13/5 rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $
If I lived in Wilkes-Barre I'm sure I'd be a regular. Great selection of brews, the only downfall is that they don't offer flights. At least 50 on tap and hundreds more in bottles.
The food wasn't impressive; the cheez-whiz on my "Irish Fries" made them almost unedible, but I don't know how the rest of the menu is. I felt like I was channeling my inner Gordon Ramsay while talking about them with my friend. I'm just glad I didn't drink so much I had to taste those fries again.
However, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the prices very reasonable. I would definitely recommend a stop if you are in the area. Don't be fooled, it does look like a dive from the outside, but it is much nicer inside.
03-14-2011 18:05:50 | More by kirchnak
3.95/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Arena Bar and Grill was the bar that got me hooked onto craft beer. It was the first bar that I had a full bottle of craft at. It was always a good place to grab a drink. Especially on the week nights when It's not to crowded. The service there is always pretty good. The food is quality as well, thhough I havent eaten there that much lately. There beer selection is pretty big(especially there drafts). There's always something good on, but rarely anything that's crazy. This is a great place to bring a party and drink drink drink.
08-28-2010 04:21:41 | More by cooch69
4.01/5 rDev +7.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
It was the Friday night after Thanksgiving so way more crowded than usual, as I was told. I so enjoy being the oldest guy in the bar, particularly when there's 150 people in there! Not too much geekery in evidence, either. Hadn't set foot in the building since it was Black Rock and was curious to see what it was like. They had a very decent tap selection including a few I'd never sampled. I didn't have time to take a tasting cruise but will raincheck that one. I did enjoy the Hooker 'fest; one of a few holdovers from the fall.
11-29-2009 02:01:37 | More by BeerIsland
3.98/5 rDev +7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
My girlfriend wanted to go up to Wilkes to see some friends and told me she wanted to take me to a bar with a lot of great beer on tap. She said she knew I'd enjoy it... she was right. There was a great variety of bottled and draught beer ( I believe they had 7 permanent taps and 33 rotating that were categorized as either "here and gone", "seasonal", and "super premium". We sat at the bar, and the bartender seemed pretty knowledgeable and very willing to give samples of all the beers... some without even asking. Can't comment to much on food... all we had was a popcorn chicken app, which was good. Price was very reasonable. We had a New Holland Zoomer Wit, Founders Breakfast Stout, a Chimay Tripel (white), and an order of popcorn chicken... $17 and change.
06-22-2009 01:48:36 | More by bbeane
4.05/5 rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
A frequent of mine.
The atmosphere on a busy happy hour is very busy but other times its relaxed and mellow as its a large place with a few people only.
Service has always been helpfull and if you have a question they find out the answer. They also for the most part either know the beer or ask someone who does.
Selection is good with 50 drafts and multiple bottles mostly craft but with enough regular macros to satisfy anyone you take their to get your own drink on.
Food is typicaly good...nothing amazing though some of the things are great...ive yet to be let down but never been wowed.
Prices especially during happy hour are great for 2$ drafts of some very nice beers.(2$ golden monkeys for a while can hurt so have a driver)
Perhaps one of the best places for beer geeks is that non-beer geeks see the good in the place and will gladly go here.
04-10-2009 21:12:52 | More by psulovesbeer
3.93/5 rDev +5.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
First the good. The tap beer selection is outstanding, so so many unusual beers that I do not have often. Lucky for me I was staying in a hotel only a few minutes away as I had a few more pints than normal.
The food was also very good. I tried two appetizers that were different, they were the Crab Stuffed Pretzel and the Onion Petals.
Now the bad, the parking has been mentioned on every previous review and it is that bad. The smoke smell in the bar is overwhelming, it does not go with food, or beer for that matter. The service staff has bad attitudes, they dont seem to care, and with this said the place is packed, so I will leave it up to you to figure that out.
10-18-2008 20:22:35 | More by VegasBill
Arena Bar and Grill in Wilkes-Barre, PA
86 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.