Ithaca College is somewhat secluded, overlooking the rest of the city from atop South Hill. Luckily, The Commons is close by and provides tons of nightlife options, but don’t stop there — visit that other hill near Cornell University, “Collegetown." Here’s a list of Collegetown's top hot nightlife spots.
Collegetown Bagels is one of those places every Ithacan knows and loves. On Friday and Saturday nights, the place transforms into a hot spot that college students flock to. Some look for food after hitting up the bars, while others go to CTB to have a late meal with friends. In nice weather, the outdoor patio seating adds a touch of charm to the CTB experience. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside CTB under the Christmas tree lights observing the swarms of people walking home from the bars. Though the place gets insanely crowded on weekend nights, that atmosphere is actually fun, not irritating. Plus, it’s open until 2 a.m.
Stella’s Restaurant, Bar, & Café
Stella’s has both a café and a restaurant with a bar. If you want to have a small Friday-night outing with friends, hit up the café area, which is open every day until 1 a.m., or go to the restaurant and bar where dinner is served until 11 p.m. Appetizers are also served from 10 p.m. to midnight on the weekends. The restaurant has a variety of food options -- from vegetable ravioli and grilled brief sandwiches, to truffle parmesan fries and burgers. So no matter what type of food you're craving, Stella's will provide it. The atmosphere inside is very sleek, clean, and modern. Stella's often holds events like dance parties, performances, and drink specials -- so you can do dinner and the after party all in one place.
Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts
Collegetown isn’t just bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for a more low-key night but still want to be entertained, go to Cornell University’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. Between ten and twelve dollars can buy you a ticket to one of the mainstage theater productions. The Center also hosts other artsy events like film screenings and dance performances. Its convenient College Avenue location means you can still grab a slice at Collegetown Pizza or meet up with friends at CTB before or after the show.
Concerts via Cornell Concert Commission
Cornell University itself is a great place for nightlife activity — the Cornell Concert Commission brings big names to the school, and admission is almost always open to the public. Recently, master mixers Super Mash Bros. put on a free concert on Cornell’s Arts Quad. This semester, the CCC is bringing M.I.A. and Pheonix to Ithaca. For more information on how to get in on these concerts, visit rso.cornell.edu/ccc.
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