Even before my 21st birthday, I had a handful of bars in mind to go to on that very special day. For Montclair students, there are definitely a bunch of places in the area worth checking out for a drink at least once. Wherever you decide to go, keep in mind that each of these places are better to go to on certain days. So if you don't know where to go but you know what you're looking for, check out this list.

Alexus Steakhouse and Tavern

If you go to Montclair and haven't heard of Alexus you might live under a rock. Alexus is the state college where you'll see current students as well as some alumni whose time at Montclair was decades ago.

Alexus is literally right next to campus on Valley Road. It's within walking distance from any dorm on campus and offers different deals for every day of the week.

If you're looking for a relaxed bar with tons of Montclair students, just walk 10 minutes from your dorm to the bar that is basically on campus.

The Shannon Rose

This local Irish Pub is probably one of the nicer bar options in the Montclair area. The Shannon Rose located in Clifton is definitely a great place to grab a beer, especially because every weekday The Shannon Rose offers $2 off all drinks, beer, wine, and food specials from 3 to 7 pm. If you don't like going out during the week, on Saturdays and Sundays they offer a live entertainment and never charge a cover.

Along with that they make some pretty tasty food. They offer a brunch menu from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. With meals like the hangover burger, topped with an over-easy fried egg, Irish rashers, melted Irish cheddar cheese and ketchup on a toasted English muffin and drinks like the Manmosa, a nice manly twist on the mimosa, they definitely match up to the other bars in the area. 

Public House 46

Revamped just last year, Public House 46, formerly known as Pub House, is a bar you absolutely have to check out as a student.

If you want to go out for drinks but also dance a little to whatever the DJ puts on, this is the place to be. With two fully stocked bars, a dance floor, pool table, and small outdoor section, Public House always offers a fun night.

They also are currently doing a Beat the Clock on Thursdays deal and have $1.50 Mug Night Wednesdays. So if you want to dance and drink for cheap, check it out on Wednesdays or Thursdays and you won't regret it (well, you might in the morning).

Just Jakes

If you like live music, Just Jakes is your place for Friday and Saturday fun. This cozy bar located right by Bloomfield Avenue is a great place to hang out with your friends after a long week of class.

Just Jakes' bands are a perfect addition to the already lively atmosphere. And watch out for some serious throwbacks, because they sometimes cover songs that came out when I was in middle school. Be warned though, they have a cover charge and their drinks aren't any cheaper than the other bars on this list. But hey, $10 is still worth a night with a live band bringing you back to your middle school dances.

Egan & Sons

Located not too far from Just Jakes, Egan & Sons is another local Irish Pub with some spectacular drinks. There, you'll find some great ales that you won't find at any other bar.

You'll also get the best food here. Famous for their fish and chips, you can find some classic Irish meals along with hand-tossed pizza made in a pizza oven that you can see while you're eating.

Although Egans is a little more expensive, I suggest heading here for special occasions because they'll make it even more special with their great atmosphere, drinks and food.

Mother's Ale House

Although Mother's might be the farthest bar from campus on this list, it is well worth the trip. Every inch of Mother's is unique and eye catching, but at heart it's just a really great bar to go to for some drinks.

With your typical bar offerings, Mother's has some great game day appetizers even when it's not game day. The bar is big and has plenty of space to move around in, even when it's packed on the weekends.

Mother's offers something fun almost every night and has a happy hour everyday during the week from 3 to 7 pm. Every Tuesday is trivia night, Wednesdays are for karaoke nights and Thursday is country night hosted by Nash FM. On the weekends there is typically a DJ which just adds to making this bar is just an all-around fun time that will get you out of any funk you or a friend may be in.

Since turning 21, I have been fortunate enough to check out all of these bars and experience the exciting entertainment each of them have to offer. I'll also throw out there that these bars end in a great night with or without drinking. I'm glad that before I graduate this May I've been able to experience and create memories at each of these establishments and encourage you to do the same before you get that diploma and move back in with mom and dad.