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Arena Bar and Grill

Your Rating: None
Arena Bar and GrillArena Bar and Grill
Very Good
37 Ratings
Arena Bar and GrillArena Bar and Grill

Type: Bar, Eatery

380 Coal St
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 18702-6623
United States

(570) 970-8829 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2005

View: Place Reviews | Events
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 26
Photo of Brew_ski
4.64/5  rDev +20.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Craft_Imperial
3.82/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of QuadBen
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of jayhammed
4.61/5  rDev +19.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great selection of happy hour beers - high quality beer at bud light prices

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Photo of CharlesK
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Have been here well over 25 times, mostly for their 5-7 happy hour. I am a big fan of this place. Well above average draft list as well as a great bottle list. Food is always great as well. It is just a great place to come for a few beers and dinner after work. Chill atmosphere, sometimes a little busy. No complaints from me!

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Photo of RobAM
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of BillCheck
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of cyguyjg
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of pep
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of beerdedking
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of DaveGood
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of ridgeline23
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of Awscjr
1/5  rDev -74.1%
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.

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Photo of ssznyter
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of muletrane
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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!

 801 characters

Photo of kirchnak
4.13/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of cooch69
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 534 characters

Photo of BeerIsland
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of bbeane
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 767 characters

Photo of psulovesbeer
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 854 characters

Photo of VegasBill
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of johnnyirishman
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Went for a nice dinner and drinks with some friends and family. Firsts things first...the parking lot sucks, but the waitresses are smokin' hot, that got my attention right off the bat. The Restraunt is well put together with lots of different seating arrangements( Tables from 2 on up, booths and bar seating) The most impressive thing about this establishment is of course "Their Beer Selection".. Over 30 beers on tap at any given time, (And except for the major BMC stuff most taps are Dedicated to Micro's only!) And what a selection!!. Their bottle selection is good too, lots of hard to find stuff from America and around the world. I probably had 8 beers there that I've been looking for and couldent find near my home, so its safe to say that i was pleased. The food was also good, not great but good. I opted for the Magic #9 Chicken (Grilled chicken with a Magic Hat #9 BBQ glaze.) Unfortunately the wait staff although good looking wernt very attentive. So take this as you will.

 991 characters

Photo of McLovinmybeer
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The parking lot is atrocious, many people ruin even the narrow spacing by parking over two of the limited amount of spots.
The inside atmosphere is that of a sports bar, as the Wachovia Arena is nearby. If you're not a smoker, this place tends to be on the smokey side.
The selection is pretty good, but the prices are high, the super premium taps are just as everyone has described, and the waitstaff is not knowledgable or very attentive on the whole. Their happy hour is the best time to go, $2 drafts (about 50 in total) between 5-7.

 538 characters

Photo of mymrnngjckt
2.48/5  rDev -35.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Let us start with the parking lot. Where did they get the measurments for the lines for cars? Did you use a dirt bike? I drive a small sized SUV and the wheelwells hang out over the lines. Not a good start to my visit.

The beers I had were served in small glasses. I don't know how often they clean their lines but guessing from the three draft beers I had, never. Regardless of the beer style I had, ll ofthe beers had a stale taste.

The service, while visually appealing, sucked. I have no other words to describe it. Waited for over 10 minutes to have my beer refilled each time and it wasn't even crowded. The wait staff spent more time conversing with the bartenders that dealing with the customers.

The one part I cannot knock is the selection. Pretty impressive. 50 drafts, only about 15 I would call filler. The rest was a a nice, diverse selection. The bottle list of about 100 also had a lot of unique beers to the area.

The food was bland and uninspired. I would not eat there again. I would rather go to the Sheetz down the street and eat there.

 1,062 characters

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Arena Bar and Grill in Wilkes-Barre, PA
Place rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 37 ratings
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