While strolling around Blacksburg, new and old students, as well as local residents, cannot miss the popular hangouts, but they may find themselves surprised when stumbling upon hidden offbeat treasures.
Downtown Blacksburg’s brick-lined sidewalks certainly aren’t suffering from a lack of sports-themed bars, making them regular hangouts.
Hokie House has been a long-time companion of Virginia Tech football, and not far from it sits Sharkey’s, Top of the Stairs and Champs, just to name a few of the town’s many bars.
However, Blacksburg holds more than just beer and wings for those who aren’t of legal age or are looking for something more than a crisp pitcher of Blacksburg Pils. For junior theater arts major Bryanna Demerly, She-Sha Cafe and Hookah Lounge hits the right spot.
“It’s a really chill place to go relax, listen to bands and hang out with friends. I go there all the time,” Demerly said.
The relaxed atmosphere is something She-Sha strives for.
“It’s a versatile place. You can hang out for hours or study. Everyone feels comfy and not surrounded by a million TVs or distractions,” said John Gaskins, general manager of She-Sha.
She-Sha is also planning to feature live local music throughout the year. For the enthusiast, shisha — hookah tobacco — and hookahs are sold.
Around the corner from She-Sha sits one of Blacksburg’s oldest entertainment venues, the Lyric Theater. The building opened in 1930, and after a brief closing from 1989 to 1994, reopened as a not-for-profit movie theater.
Although the Lyric only screens one movie at a time, the $4 ticket price is hard to match for an enjoyable date night. Stop in for a show on Mondays for free popcorn, and know your admission is helping preserve one of Blacksburg’s oldest local traditions.
If your all-nighter to finish that midterm essay leaves you starving, Gumby’s Pizza, located near the intersection of Main Street and Prices Fork Road, is one of the few places in Blacksburg that serves food past 2 a.m. Although it is a national franchise, Gumby’s only has one location in Virginia: Blacksburg. Its dedication to the college lifestyle makes Gumby’s feel like the pizza parlor next door.
Its daily specials make sure your stomach and your wallet stay full. It doesn’t hold anything back when naming food specials.
For example, “Big Ass Thursday” can get you a 20-inch pizza for $10.99. If you’re looking for entertainment to take home, then Crossroads CDs is the place to go.
David Fisher, owner of Crossroads, opened the first store in Staunton in 1992. The Blacksburg location has been in business for around 15 years, and according to Fisher, has one of the best video, DVD and Blu-Ray selections in the area, which he attributes to the knowledgeable, motivated staff. This manifests itself in Crossroads’ Criterion collection, which Baron Roller, Crossroads’ store manager, describes as “videos picked out as must-sees.”
Crossroads has something special for audiophiles as well. The Blacksburg location makes up half of the total vinyl record sales for all four Crossroads stores.
Half of the store is lined with racks of CDs and vinyl records making Crossroads the go-to spot for hard-to-find albums and headquarters of the Blacksburg music scene. There is also good news for your bank account.
“We’re working on a frequent-buyer system,” Roller said. “It will work sort of like a Subway or Starbucks card where you can accumulate points.”
Crossroads will soon be open daily from 10 a.m. until midnight.
For incoming freshmen or long-time students looking for something new to spice up their routine, Blacksburg carries many unique hot spots. Trying something new on the weekend is only a matter of stepping out into town and having a look around.