So, you’ve reached the magical year of twenty-one.    Sure, you get to vote at eighteen, but twenty-one opens up your whole world… The bars.

We’ve been spending too many years hiding and mooching off friends, but now we’re free to roam the aisles of the liquor store. But that’s not it, birthday Dukes, Harrisonburg has a whole plethora of bars to peak your social drinking soul.

1. Artful Dodger


Photo courtesy of

The atmosphere is casual and open, perfect for newly twenty-one’s to grab their first drink.  They have specials every day, but the $2 rails (basically these cute little mixed drinks that can have you feelin’ it quick) on Tuesday and Thursday are always a huge hit.  Also, it’s got a dance floor. Holllllleerrrrrr.

2.  Jack Brown’s


Photo courtesy of @jackbrowns on Instagram

The classic, the lovely, and always live Jack Brown’s is essential for the beginning bar-goer. The bartenders are wonderful and will have plenty on tap for adventurous newbies. For me, a fellow fresh 21-year-old, I drink all my favorite craft beers like Devil’s Backbone, and ciders like Angry Orchard, at JB’s.

3.  Clementine


Courtesy of @clementinecafe on Instagram

Clementine is an eclectic scene with some bangin’ shrimp wraps along with a stocked full bar. Clementine is perfect for those wanting a chat and a beer, rather than a dance and a mixed cocktail. Classy and cute, new drinkers can feel elegant and cool at this hot spot.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget about Ruby’s below Clementine which gets TURNT on Thursdays.

4.  Golden Pony


Courtesy of @goldenponyva on Instagram

For all you pizza-lovers, Golden Pony is the place to turn up. And with all the local artists, you and your friends can jam all night. (Check out upcoming events here). They also have a late night breakfast from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Who wouldn’t want to have a whiskey with a waffle?

5.  Billy Jack’s


Courtesy of @billyjacksshack on Instagram

Yet again, a no-brainer for all those who want to explore the downtown Harrisonburg streets.  It is almost ALWAYS packed, but if it’s your birthday, I’m sure your friends can pick up a few IPA’s for ya.  Even if you don’t like beer, feast upon their sticky nuggs and call it a night.