Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Ray's Place

Your Rating: None
Ray's PlaceRay's Place
26 Ratings
Ray's PlaceRay's Place

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

135 Franklin Ave
Kent, Ohio, 44240-3517
United States

(330) 673-2233 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by Sammy:
Photo of Sammy
3.39/5  rDev -20.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

A Family oriented restaurant/bar place in Kent, not far from 101 bottles. Same distributors, but bigger tap list than 101(though inlcuding some macro choices). Busier, but worth a stop in to see the better taps if you are spending time down this way.

 250 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mothergoose03
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

I'll admit that this visit was a long time coming. Having been a student at KSU many years ago and out bar-hopping every weekend, for whatever unknown reason I never visited Ray's. The place has a storefront-like setting and comes across as a neighborhood bar and grill although it's located just off the main drag in a downtown environment. A number of TVs were scattered around the place. We stopped here for lunch and a beer.

There are 50 taps here plus over 100 bottles/cans, including a fair number of macros and a large number of imports. Pints, tall glasses and pitchers for most beers are offered as you might expect for a college town bar. We normally choose a sampler flight, but decided to order a couple pints to go with our food. The burgers and the BBQ are very good and we certainly enjoyed what we ordered. The fried were also notable. There is a full bar and wines are also offered. This is quite a place and I'm sad that I waited so long to visit. Kind of makes me want to go back to college. This place is highly recommended.

 1,045 characters

Photo of CaptainHate
4.93/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Incredible selection of taps; I had to think long and hard about what to order. Bartenders are friendly and being there was just a great experience.

149 characters

Photo of NMA
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of tepie
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I went to college in kent and always drank at Rays, but have returned twice now, and this is the perfect saturday afternoon stop for lunch. Great food and great beer selection. I always get the pastrami on rye with a basket of fries, hits the spot. Crowd is usually light during the day which was fine with me. Easy seating, food was prompt. Easy parking. The draft list puts a lot of places near my home to shame, it was nice to see the variety. I was able to even try some stuff that was local and I had not heard of before.

 526 characters

Photo of Nez02
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Beer: Ray's is always a great place to stop for beers and food. They have at least 20 beers on tap and more bottles to choose from. The selection is awesome and they are often the first to have new releases and collaborations on tap. The selection rotates weekly and is always very fresh. Ray's has two bars one upstairs and one on the main floor when you walk in. The beer menu is always descriptive and covers IBU's as well as alcohol content. Ray's also fills growlers.

Food: Ray's has great burgers and even better fries. The homemade pastrami is the best I’ve ever had. The menu is very diverse and covers a wide range of food types. Everyone I have taken there for dinner has enjoyed it.

Overall Ray's is an awesome place to stop and one I frequent often. I even met my wife here on a blind date!

 812 characters

Photo of Gregf51
3.69/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of osickeym
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of Brian29
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Glanzman
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Good beer selection.

And of course, the MoFo burger... it's awesome!

69 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of damndirtyape
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Good joint for food and beer. Extensive draft and bottle list, but the bottle list wasn't easily obtained while the tap list was at every table. 40+ beers on tap so plenty to choose from. It's clearly a place that caters to the local college crowd so cheap beers abound here, but there is plenty of craft beer choices to be had as well.

It's a college town type of bar, but in much better condition so that it cannot be called a dive. Food quality was very good - tasty, just right portion sizes and not too expensive. Not too darkly lit, not too loud, but it was a Tuesday night so keep that in mind. I suspect this place could get much louder and crowded.

Food was very good. Simple but very tasty. Mostly your typical pub fare, but plenty to choose from off the menu so I think there is something for everyone; although vegans might have a hard time finding something other than a simple salad.

Price was very reasonable. I got there during happy hour (-$1 off draft glasses) and had 2 beers, an entree special, and dessert all for $22. Definitely a place worth checking out again.

 1,103 characters

Photo of Beef_Curtains
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A good bar for beer and food, not so much for atmosphere. I can't complain about the beer selection, but the crowd is usually pretty lame (a lot of college bros). It also has more of a restaurant vibe than a bar. I'd come here to grab a beer and a bite, but I won't stay long.

 276 characters

Photo of Taylor_Cooper
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of csmit942
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of cd_beer_disapear
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of TheRealPour
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Rhynes2
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place is great for craft beer lovers here in the Kent area. You have a great atmosphere here with people who know their beer. (most at least). Located downtown, it is walking distance from most of the main spots here in Kent. Great beer selection with plenty to choose from for drinking in or taking a growler out. I go there all the time. I'd recommend this place to everyone that I know. It also gives you the old school atmosphere with brick walls and dim lighting. If the place is busy enough they will open the upstairs section. It doesn't have as many beers on tap but it's cool to drink and get a little view of the city.

 633 characters

Photo of hghops
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What's not to like about Ray's? The beer selection is great, always something new on tap. They have recently added a dozen or so new items to the menu. Prices are reasonable. Service is courteous and friendly and the staff remains eager to please. Friday and Saturday evenings can be busy (and somewhat noisy), but the staff works really hard to keep up. My wife and I cannot go a week without a visit to Ray's. I'm sure it helps to be a regular, but we have NEVER had a bad experience at Ray's.

 495 characters

Photo of brew4health
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The atmosphere is good, sort of English pub-like with lots of warm dark wood. It is divided into two halves with tables and booths in both but a large bar with many easily read taps in one part. They have another bar upstairs which I have not seen. It is apparently used for banquets or college students on busy Friday and Saturday nights. I like to sit at the bar where I can see the taps and the pours and test the knowledge of the bartenders. The many bartenders I have met at Ray's Place have known their beers and been for the most part attentive.

The beer selection is very good. They have 41 beers on tap from all over the country and some imports. Regional beers are well represented. Great Lakes Brewing beers have a big presence and they generally carry their seasonals. Most beers are served in pint glasses or tall 20? ouncers. Prices are reasonable, craft brews are in the range of $5 per pint with some as high as $7.25 when I visited (3/01/11). I particularly appreciate the fact that they have many obscure and hard-to-find beers. Most of the bartenders are happy to discuss beers and recommend their favorites. Beer flights (4 oz?) are available 4 to a tray for the cost of the highest priced beer on the tray. In addition, they have a large selection of bottled beer on hand.

Menu is adequate with a good selection of appetizers and burgers. I have only tried the burgers and fries which were both served in hearty portions and were flavorful. The service is good. I thoroughly enjoy visiting Ray's and stop there whenever I am in the neighborhood.

 1,568 characters

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Hit Ray's on my first trip to Kent. Of course found this gem by visiting BA first.
Located on Franklin Ave, just off Main st and west of the KSU campus.
Not much to look at from the outside, but the inside is inviting if a bit low lit. Multiple flat screens, booths and tables in two main areas with a nice wood bar on the left.

Visited on a Saturday for lunch and the crowd was varied, mostly 30's+ with a sprinkle of college-aged patrons.

Tap and bottle list at the table with a selection that rivals many big city establishments. I started with a nice 20oz draft of Founder's Double Trouble then had 5oz samples of Green Flash Le Freak, Founders Breakfast Stout, Goose Island Dominique, and The Brew Kettle White Rajah (have not seen in the Cleveland area).

For chow we had two burgers-the Mo Fo (double cheeseburger with bacon, sautéed mushrooms and the works--$7.50) and Stuffed Gourmet Burger (6 ounces of ground beef stuffed with a mushroom duxelle in the center then topped with caramelized onions, bleu cheese and a balsamic reduction. Served on a bun
with lettuce and tomato--$7.25). Fabulous! Perfectly cooked, fresh toppings, large portions.

But this place is not only about burgers. The most discriminating palate will be able to find something of interest. Salads, meatloaf, sandwiches, even a gyro. Full dinner menu.

The service was outstanding. Asked about a refill before the glass was dry. Filled our waters. Quick with the check when needed.

I have no idea about other establishments in Kent, but who cares. I lacked for nothing. I will make it back.

Almost forgot, bring your growlers; Brought back 64oz of Double Trouble for the effort.

 1,666 characters

Photo of seangroves
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Living in Kent for the past four years I have had the opportunity to visit Ray's Place frequently, on some occasions for drinks, others for food, and I have never came away dissatisfied.

The food selection at Ray's is excellent; they have everything from burgers to pasta to meatloaf. It is a bit pricey but it is well worth it because the service from the staff serving food at Ray's is extraordinary. Upon sitting down you can be guaranteed that at least one person, in many cases two, will come to assist you with ordering a drink and getting a menu within a minute. The food doesn't take very long given that it is all cooked fresh and is excellent.

When it comes to drinking at Ray's, it is the best place to go in town if you're after something besides Miller/Bud/insert other watered down industrial beer. The tap selection is the best in town with well over 75% of its taps (roughly 15 or so) geared toward craft selections, not to mention the beer cooler that carries an extensive selection of craft. The service is great, especially when it is incredibly busy near closing time on the weekend, you'll only have to wait a matter of minutes compared to 5 or 10 at almost every other bar. The bartenders are very helpful and courteous and quite friendly, especially when it isn't too busy they will sit and shoot the breeze with you endlessly, it's a great environment.

I would highly recommend stopping at Ray's any time someone is in Kent, OH.

 1,456 characters

Photo of johanvond
3.63/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I've lived in kent for a while so I'm not too sure what to write about Ray's. What I can tell you hands down is when school is session come during the week, or during the day, otherwise it's really crowded with drunk kids. It almost unbearable. If you go during the week it quiet the locals are nice. They also redid the front with windows that swing open and have a nice little area where you can sit.
The upside is that they have a great beer slection and try to get the newest beers in the area. They have all the great lakes standards on draft. There bottle list is around 100, including craft local and imports. The last beers I had were the Avery Marahaja, Great Lakes Commidor Perry IPA , Edmond Fitzgeriald porter, and Anchor Steam. If you are so inclinded you can get a Growler to take home.
There food is ok, but I'm vegiterian and theres not much beyond the vegi burger, although they have a good black bean sauce. They also have some tasty jerk fries and sweet potato fries
The service is verry hit or miss, the last time I was there my server was almost nonexistant. If you want to see a game they may turn it on but forget about sound unless the back is not busy.
All in all is a all right place to go. It gives lots of college kids a place to try some beer that your nit supposed to chug.

 1,309 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: Ray's Place was located in downtown Kent, on a brick road near the historic district. Ray's itself has 2 levels; an older, more laid back downstairs, and a spacious, well-lit upstairs, complete with pool tables and video games. I couldn't say how the people are during the night, but it seems like it could be quite the wild party place (one of Playboy's top 100 college bars), but at mid-afternoon the downstairs part of the bar was packed with the lunchtime crowd.

Quality/Selection: Ray's has about 45 taps between upstairs and downstairs, and probably about 150 bottles. Downstairs was where the majority of the macros were to be found, but there were also solid beers like Goose Island Honker and Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, along with several Great Lakes taps. The bottles were also mainly macro, but they had Blackout Stout (which I'm told is sold out in Cleveland) and a few other offerings. Upstairs was even better. Taps like Arrogant Bastard and only a couple macros, along with the majority of the micro bottles, seem to make this the bar here to visit.

Service: The service here at Ray's was quite solid as well. Our drinks were poured quickly, and our beers were to us before we knew it. I didn't get a chance to experience the service at the upstairs bar, but I don't see why it would be any different.

Food: When Bob from Riverside suggested this place to us he told us to go for the food more so than the taps, and he was right. The food that we had was fantastic. I had a BBQ bacon burger, made perfectly (just medium-well enough not to get botulism) and hung off the sides of the bun. My brother ordered a small basket of fries that ended up being huge, and with the potato skin still on there (a personal favorite).

To be honest, I just wish my college town had a bar this good!! Ray's was a great place for a lunch and quick beer, and from what it seems, could be quite an interesting place for some nightlife. I'll definitely return to Kent sometime in the future (to shop at Riverside, likely the best beer store in Eastern Ohio), and when I do, I'll be sure to make a stop here.

 2,129 characters

Photo of cupbeerman
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

We asked the owner of Riverside what was a good place to eat in Kent, and he highly recommended Ray's. Ray's is a bar that has about 37 draft selections(of which about 25 are craft/imports) and about 150 craft/import bottles. The draft list includes the six regular Great Lakes, Sierra Nevada, Goose Island, Bastard, and many others. The building is actually divided into two different bars. Downstairs has tables and this is where the food is served. The selection of beer is more macros downstairs. Upstairs has the much better selection of draft beer and bottles.
The service is good and very fast. The beer is poured quickly and the food came out fast as well.
The atmosphere (during lunch time); the place had many TVs, and the place was quiet. But it seemed that at night a good college crowd usually comes so all bets are off.

Overall this was a really good place to come and have a beer. If ever in Kent Ohio again, I would really stop in and have their food; it was very good.

 990 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ray's Place in Kent, OH
Place rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 26 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.