Bars and Eateries in Aggieville, Manhattan, Kansas

By
Real Estate Agent with G&A Real Estate, Inc.

A large part of the unique flavor of the Aggieville scene stems from the multitude of locally-owned and operated bars, eateries and shops located in the district. With over one hundred total businesses, the ever-changing tapestry of shops and restaurants brings a rich diversity of entertainment, food and drink while preserving the unique, small-town flavor of the area. Here is a flickr image-'map' of Aggieville.

Bars and eateries

With over 40 bars and restaurants in just six square blocks, Aggieville has been the premier weekend destination for Kansas State students and residents of Manhattan since the 1950s.

Patrons enjoy a bikini contest at Rusty's Last Chance. Patrons enjoy a bikini contest at Rusty's Last Chance.

Rusty's Last Chance

Rusty's Last Chance is the largest bar in Aggieville, although it is actually four bars that have been interconnected. Opened in the mid-1980s and housed in a former gas station, Rusty's was named to Playboy's Top 100 Bars List in 1997. Between 1996-2000, Last Chance was expanded several times to include Rusty's Next Door (a non-smoking bar), Rusty's Outback (with pool and darts) and Rusty's Other Side (with four pool tables). Since Rusty Wilson took over ownership in 1989, the bar has not been closed for a single holiday, operating 365 days each year. The complex houses over sixty televisions, and although the owners don't classify it as a sports bar, it was ranked the 12th-best sports bar in America by Sports Illustrated in 2005.

Kite's Bar and Grill

Rich in history, Kite's has served Aggieville intermittently for over fifty years. Originally opened by legendary Kansas State baseball player Kite Thomas in the 1950's, the bar quickly became a favorite with the simple slogan "meet your friends at Kite's". In the 1960's, Kite ran into hard times and was forced to sell his bar, but the legendary name Kite's lived on under another owner until 1993. The bar was eventually reopened by Rusty Wilson, then-owner of Rusty's Last Chance. Today, Kite's has expanded to a full block-long bar featuring flat-screen televisions, three full-service bars and a patio.

Auntie Mae's Parlor

In 1927, an enterprising widow named Dora Mae Walters took over for her deceased husband's plumbing store. After two rough years in plumbing, Walters opened a speakeasy in the dingy basement of the shop. When Prohibition was repealed, the speakeasy was closed, but in 1974, Auntie Mae's Parlor opened in the same location and was named after the original "Auntie Mae" who brought the small town of Manhattan the drink it needed in the midst of the Great Depression.

The Aggie Lounge, Aggieville's beloved hole-in-the-wall. The Aggie Lounge, Aggieville's beloved hole-in-the-wall.

The Aggie Lounge

Opened in 1952, the Aggie Lounge or "The Lou" is the closest thing in Aggieville to a dive bar. With nachos and other snacks until midnight and a full-service bar, the Lounge has been a favorite for over fifty years. Located a bit off of the main "strip" on N. 12th Street, "The Lou" maintains a loyal customer base and has remained a staple of Aggieville history.

Hibachi Hut

Serving traditional American cuisine along with Cajun and Creole dishes, the Hibachi Hut has been located in Aggieville since 1959. The legendary "Belly Bomb" burger and friendly atmosphere have helped make Hibachi Hut a favorite for nearly fifty years.

So Long Saloon

Featuring a lovingly restored 1904 Brunswick San Juan bar made entirely of mahogany and maple, So Long Saloon has served Aggieville with its legendary burgers and cowboy hospitality since opening in 2001. Awarded the prestigious "Best Hamburger" award by the Kansas Beef Council in 2004 for the "Resist Temptation Burger," So Long has quickly become an Aggieville favorite.

Coco Bolo's, with its diverse menu, is one of Aggieville's most popular restaurants. Coco Bolo's, with its diverse menu, is one of Aggieville's most popular restaurants.

Coco Bolo's

Operated by two native Manhattan brothers, this eclectic bar and grill serves original recipes in a lively atmosphere surrounded with bright colors and original art pieces. It has grown to become one of Aggieville's premier restaurants.

Rock-a-Belly Deli

Since opening in 1987, Rock-a-Belly Deli has been a popular hangout for students after classes with its homemade sandwiches. Advertising itself as a "very small place, a very small kitchen and a half-fast cook," Rock-a-Belly is one of the prized local businesses that thrives in Aggieville.

Pizza Hut

Aggieville is home to the world's oldest continually-operated Pizza Hut. A Kansas franchise originally opened in Aggieville in 1960, the Pizza Hut has been a staple of the area for over forty years.

Other bars and eateries

Buffalo Wild Wings at the corner of Manhattan Ave. and Moro St. Buffalo Wild Wings at the corner of Manhattan Ave. and Moro St.
  • Bluestem Bistro
  • Burger King
  • Planet Sub
  • Coldstone Creamery
  • Mr. Goodcents
  • O'Malley's Alley
  • Porter's
  • Longhorn's Saloon
  • Fast Eddy's Pool Hall
  • Daylight Donuts
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Subway
  • Fat's Bar
  • Chipotle
  • Silverado Saloon
  • The Purple Pig
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Jimmy John's
  • The Kathouse Lounge
  • Happy Valley
  • The Texas Star
  • Hunam Express
  • PJ's Pub
  • The Pita Pit
  • Radina's Coffeehouse
  • The Salty Rim
  • Pat's Blue Rib'n BBQ
  • Tank's Tavern
  • Tubby's Bar and Grill
  • Starbucks

Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggieville

Posted by

Kelvi Cunningham, Realtor, ABR

G&A Real Estate, Inc.

Cell (785)341-6806

Kelvi@GandARealEstate.com

www.GandARealEstate.com

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Anonymous #1
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Joel Athey

You may be the one who can answer the burning Aggieville question: Is the Dugout bar still there, and if so can you trace its name history? It was on the little street and faced the corner of Varney's bookstore. I'm an alum (1966) and this week I met another alum (1959) when we were judges at a graduate students case studies competition at USC. He lived in Manhattan when the bar was called The Open (because that's the only sign it posted for several years). When I arrived in 1962, the older -- more sophisticated -- students lorded over neophytes who knew only the Dugout, not The Open. Any history you can provide would . . . well, we were laughing hard enough over lots of memories, of which The Open was a prime example -- we'd appreciate it.

One item to add: I was never in the Dugout without hearing "Scotch and soda, jigger of gin" -- the song. I don't know why it was played there, only there as far as I know, and always there. I was just a beer kid, I suppose. A dime a glass.

Joel Athey

February 19, 2012 05:18 PM
Anonymous #2
Anonymous
Ronda Parry

Sadly, our favorite Dugout is no longer there.  I, too, was there from '63-'67 and spent many quarters on the jukebox, playing #C59 Scotch and Soda.  Raoul Martinez and his mother, Sally, had a small hamburger area in the NW part of the bar.  Great food and Raoul was a great friend of our group that hung out there.  As for the name, the version of the story that I always heard to be true was that Kite Thomas (Kite's) owned the Dugout, as well as Kite's.  Since Kite was a pro baseball player, he named it the Dugout.

Carlos was the manager at that time and "Flash" Gordon was the bartender.  Any of those names ring a bell?  I bet you remember the 25 cent pitchers on certain days of the week for Happy Hour.  I can't imagine getting a pitcher of beer now for $ .25 and, also, can't imagine drinking a pitcher of beer!  If we helped "Flash" wash the beer mugs he would give us a free pitcher---those were fun days.  Hope this helps answer your question.

 

February 14, 2013 01:23 PM
Anonymous #3
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Bill Caterino

Joel

 

Just happened to see your name on a post from years ago.  Remember the years in Springfield playing Gin for hours and hours.  The real question is where is Morgan Merritt? 

 

Met up with Jim Colbert at several Cal events when he was on the tour.  Also spent some time with Nick Pino when I had a short stint working for a New York Company in Kansas City, MO.

 

Bill Caterinoi 

June 13, 2013 10:56 AM
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