The first home game on Saturday will welcome streams of Virginia Tech students, alumni and loyal fans to the streets of downtown before, during and after the matchup.
Whether you're a seasoned alum or a new student on campus, downtown is full of venues to check out be it day or night.
Caroline Cleary, a freshman communication major, said even though she had not been downtown too many times yet, she could already tell the atmosphere was relaxing, accessible and entertaining.
With this many people in just a few blocks this weekend, the accessibility may be limited, though.
Beat the crowds by knowing which bars and grills to go to whether its to watch the game in the air conditioning or to celebrate after.
Blacksburg houses a variety of bars, each with their own atmosphere, drink specials and events. Though they are in close proximity to each other, the entertaining bartenders, live music and variety of spirits let the downtown bars stand their own and offer a diverse day or night-out experience.
Virginia Tech alumnus Missy Reiss described downtown Blacksburg as energetic and spirited, so no matter where game day takes your downtown adventure, it promises to be amemorable.
Hokie House Sports Bar and Restaurant
Hokie House is not only popular for its name, obvious school spirit and overarching view of Main Street from the upstairs windows, but it is typically packed thanks to the cool and laid-back sports bar feel.
Though many accuse it of being a boys hang-out spot, Hokie House offers fun for all with its “fatty” mugs of tap beers, lines of pool tables and an inviting Twitter feed, which has over 300 followers.
Sharkey’s Wing & Rib Joint
Whether for its beloved Long Island iced teas, the back bar, daily happy hour specials, theme nights or just the amount of space there is to mingle, the go-to bar of Blacksburg is Sharkey’s.
There is rarely a long line at one of its two bars. No one specific crowd frequents the bar, and with its proximity to everything in downtown, Sharkey’s is a staple for Tech students whether over or under 21.
Phillip Pullen, a sophomore political science major, said he enjoys going to Sharkey's to hang out, eat some wings and enjoy being downtown but not too late.
"During the fall, when it's nice out, I go downtown about once a week," Pullen said. "I like how everything is close together and you can do a lot of things outside."
Which is another perk of the Sharkey's experience: the outdoor patio welcomes in the breeze as you enjoy one of the restaurant’s fried pickles or one of the house special drinks.
The Cellar Restaurant and Six-Pak Store
Between Hokie House and Sharkey’s, a favorite locale for both locals and students is the Cellar Restaurant and Six-Pak Store, which hosts weekly live music and showcases an impressive collection of brews.
Sydney Drinko, a freshman math major, and her friends enjoyed dinner at the Cellar Wednesday night, because she said it was a place with good food and cool people.
Those “good food and cool people” can be found in various parts of the Cellar, too. There's outdoor seating, live shows that are staged upstairs, a store is connected to the main restaurant and a bar that rests beneath the main floor of the restaurant.
The downstairs bar has a cozy vibe with closely packed tables, low ceilings and comforting Italian food streaming by. But don't be deceived by the tight-knit feel.
The Cellar’s beer list reaches beyond boarders, and is in touch with new local microbrew favorites, which puts it on the list of must-sees for any beer fanatic.
The other perk of the Cellar is the accompanying six-pak store. Stocked with
Big Als Sports Bar
Big Al’s is located above Poor Billy’s restaurant. The climb up the stairs is worth the sports entertainment and memorabilia that covers the walls and captures legendary Hokie pride.
With almost 2,000 likes on Facebook, it’s no wonder customers are willing to hike up for some of Big Al’s shooters and taps.