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Shakespeare’s Pub

June 4, 2017

  • 241 E. Kalamazoo Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI, 49007
  • (269) 488-7782
  • Website
  • Menu

The thing about the business that J and I work in….there’s a lot of turnover.  And that turnover doesn’t mean going to a new building across the street, it’s out of the state usually.  The thing is, you can’t get another job our business and stay in Kalamazoo.  That means a lot of goodbyes and some are harder than others.

J recently lost two co-workers who she was very close with.  Both of them left within a few days of each other so they decided to have their going away party together.  We don’t get to a lot of the going away parties because of the kidsm but  was adamant she was going to make this one.

The co-going away party was thrown at Shakespeare’s Pub in downtown Kalamazoo on a Sunday afternoon, so it was somewhat family friendly.  J and I haven’t been to Shakespeare’s in years so we decided to bring the kids and just eat dinner while we were there.

Shakespeare’s Pub is in the old Shakespeare Company building on Kalamazoo Street between Pitcher and Edwards Streets in the Central Business District.  The Shakespeare Company manufactured fishing rods in Kalamazoo for decades and the building Shakespeare’s now occupies was an office building.  The Shakespeare name for the pub was taken from the Shakespeare Company, not the English Playwright as most presume.  

There’s a huge parking lot next to the pub and being a Sunday afternoon, it was pretty empty.  Finding a spot is not an issue during off peak hours, but even on weekends, I’ve never had much of a problem finding someplace nearby to park.

When you enter Shakespeare’s, you’re presented with a choice right away.  Shakespeare’s Lower Level is an event venue hosting that has dates with a variety of bands and jam nights.

We were heading into the bar area which is on the main level when you walk in.  You have to walk around the stairwell for the lower level until you come to a glass door that serves as the bar’s entrance.

Our group was hanging out outside so we by passed the bar and headed out there.  There are two doors that lead to the large concrete patio on the west side of the building.  The patio takes up most of the building and it’s filled with picnic tables and some cheap patio sets.  There’s no shade on the deck outside, so if the sun is out, it can get pretty hot.  It started out a little overcast when we got there, but after a couple of hours, we had to move inside just because all of a sudden there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

We said hello to everyone then J asked me to go get a drink.  There was a server running around, but we didn’t want to wait so I headed back inside to the bar to get us something.

The area inside at Shakespeare’s is huge.  There is a lot of open space in two long rooms with pub tables on either side.  We were in there on a Sunday so it was pretty sparse, but I’ve been in there on weekend nights before and the amount of space in those rooms in incredible.  The place can be packed but you don’t feel like you’re bumping in to everyone just trying to get to the bar.

Shakespeare’s has always been pretty well known for it’s tap list.  They have 44 taps and there’s usually a couple of hard to find ones on tap there.  The bar is two sided so there’s one in either room with about half the taps on each side.  There are TV’s above the bar if you’re the kind of person that likes to watch sports while drinking a beer.  My son and I did sit down for a few minutes to watch the end of Indy 500.

Like I said, they have a really good tap list.  I was so excited when I walked in because there were signs for Old Nation Brewing’s M-43 Juicy IPA which I have not been able to get my hands on.  I’ve heard so many incredible things about it, but can never get a can before it’s gone.  Unfortunately, when I asked for it, I was told that was one of two taps there were tapped out the night before.

Instead, I ordered a Bomb from Prairie Artisan Ales.  This super delicious Imperial Stout is aged on coffee, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers.  This is another one I’ve had a little harder time getting my hands on…..I’ve passed on it a few times and regretted it later, so I was happy to get a taste….and it was delicious.

I got J a Sierra Rose Raspberry Cider then headed back outside to track down a waitress so we could order food.

It took a few minutes, but we eventually got a couple of menus to look over.  We’ve always heard good things about their pizzas and I’ve enjoyed the burgers in the past, but I wasn’t in a burger or pizza mood for once, so we went a little bit of a different direction.

I ordered The Cuban.  This sandwich is sliced ham, roast pork, dill pickles, provolone cheese, and mustard served panini style on French Bread.  The sandwich comes out with two slices of thick french bread that has been smashed down and grilled crunchy on a panini press.  The roast pork and the ham give it two completely different salty flavors while the mustard gives it a little bit of a spiciness.  I got the Steak Fries for my side choice.  They were delicious but nothing that stands out as unique.

J wanted to get something she could share with the kids.  Shakespeare’s is a bar and they don’t have a kids menu.  It’s not a really a family friendly place, but during off peak hours they didn’t have a problem with the kids being there…there just isn’t a lot for them to eat.

With that being the case, J ordered Alex’s Favorite Chicken Tenders.  The plate is six large pieces of breaded chicken tenders served with a side or ranch (or one of their wing sauces).  There’s an option to add on fries so J did that as well so there’d be more to go around.  The chicken tenders were big, juicy pieces of chicken.  My son just wanted to bathe in the ranch dressing while my daughter decided she wanted a pizza instead after we ordered so J and I ended up eating most of the chicken.  She went with the same Steak Fries I got instead of the other options which included waffle fries.

While we were sitting outside, I ordered one more beer.  This time I picked Ironic Ale from Short’s Brewing Company.  The beer is an American style IPA. It was pretty middle of the road as far as IPA’s go.  Nothing bad about it but nothing that made it jump out.  Just a smooth, easily drinkable IPA.

The total bill for all the drinks and food was around $35.  That’s pretty cheap for us, but we didn’t order anything special for the kids.

We realized as we were sitting there that it had been a long time since we had actually eaten at Shakespeare’s.  The last time either of us can remember was in 2010 before we went to a Kalamazoo Kings game.  Yeah…it was that long ago that the Kings still existed.  I feel like we’ve been there a couple times for other goodbye parties, but not to just sit down and eat.

Shakespeare’s Pub is a great space in downtown Kalamazoo.  It’s easy to park, easy to get to, and the tap list makes it really easy to find something super delicious.  J and I have kind of grown out of the Friday and Saturday night scenes, but those still in it, Shakespeare’s is a spot that needs to be on your short list.

Shakespeare's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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