Whether you live in Manhattan, Kansas or you’re just in town to cheer on the Wildcats, Aggieville is THE place to be if you find yourself near the Kansas State campus in Manhattan.
So how did Aggieville come to be? Well, here’s a little history lesson for you. Back in the day, Aggieville didn’t quite look like the way it does now. In the 1800’s, dirt roads paved the way to Kansas State University, and the town was nothing more than a few fields and some houses scattered about. Seeing that cars weren’t invented, yet alone even an idea, a major inconvenience to students was having to take a buggy ride downtown to the bookstore. It was for this reason that in 1899, a group of students opened Varney’s Book Store on Moro Street, which paved the foundation of Aggieville.
Fast-forward 128 years and, today, Aggieville is a thriving shopping and entertainment district geared towards Kansas State students. Here are the top five things K-State students love about Aggieville.
1. Shopping & Retail
As the state of Kansas’s oldest shopping district, Aggieville has over 100 shops and local businesses. From boutique gift shops to salons to indie music stores, Aggieville is overflowing with goods and services for students attending KSU.
Need some good attire for the next Wildcats game? You know where to find it. Aggieville U Clothing Co., Rally House Aggieville and Thread are a few options to get you geared up for the next big game.
Is your mom calling to remind you that you need a haircut? Aggieville has you covered. Shaggieville, Platinum & Company and Campus Barbers are just a few of the places you can find in Aggieville to help you look as good as you feel.
Let’s be real; college can be stressful, and we all need a release. When you need to unwind and let loose, what does the typical college student do? Party, duh! Where’s the best place to do that in Manhattan? Aggieville, duh!
On any given night of the week, you can catch students hopping around to one of the many bars Aggieville has to offer. There’s something for every taste, but here are a few student favorites:
Aggie Lounge: Aggie Lounge, which happens to be the oldest bar in Aggieville, is the town’s classic dive—everyone seems to know everyone and you’re surrounded by that homey feel.
Rusty’s Last Chance: With two bars and two outdoor patios, Rusty’s Last Chance is largest of all the bars—perfect for large groups!
Tubby’s: For all of you practicing your dance moves in your bedroom mirror, it’s time to bust them out at Tubby’s, which is just the place to go if you want to dance the night away. Besides a dance floor, Tubby’s has beer pong set up and you can drink the popular AMF cocktail, a deadly combo of vodka, rum, tequila, and Blue Curacao. Just make sure to keep a bottle of aspirin nearby.
Kite’s Bar: You’re a college kid, and Kite’s Bar totally gets that you’re ballin’ on a budget—they’ve got you covered with $2.50 pounders, a 16oz beer of their choice.
There’s a little—and we mean little—taste of the variety of bars that you can hit up when in Aggieville.
Despite its reputation as the nightlife hot-spot of Manhattan, it’s not just the bars that make Aggieville special. It’s also the food. If you’re hungry and sick of on-campus dining halls, Aggieville has your back—and your stomach—at all hours of the day.
Craving some mac and cheese after bar close? Go and get yourself a mac and cheese grilled cheese that Varsity Donuts sells from their food truck after-hours. If you’re more of a morning person, you can pop over for a cup of coffee and try one of their creative donut flavors—funnel cake, peanut butter and jelly, and bacon to name a few!
Taco Lucha is another student favorite. The funky atmosphere, refreshing drinks, and creative menu have K-State students lining up for a table at any given mealtime. Be sure to go on a Tuesday to try their famous peanut butter tacos!
4. Live Music
If you’re in the mood for an authentic musical experience, you won’t have to travel far. The streets of Aggieville provide plenty of opportunities for live music.
If you’re looking for something on a larger scale, Aggieville’s The Hat is one of the primary music venues in Manhattan. For more casual vibes, try O’Malley’s Alley or Auntie Mae’s Parlor, the latter being a prohibition era speakeasy and one of Aggieville’s oldest establishments. They book live acts weekly and even offer table service for groups. The drinks are strong, the tickets are cheap, and they even have Trivia on Wednesdays.
5. School Spirit
During football season, all of Aggieville bleeds purple to show their Wildcat pride! Before, during, and after each game, you’ll find thousands of fans cheering on and celebrating a Wildcat win in Aggieville.
In addition to game days, Aggieville plays host to Manhattan’s most popular events, like the Little Apple New Year’s Eve Celebration & Ball Drop, K-State Homecoming Parade, and Fake Patty’s Day. The only day you’ll see the town turn from purple to green is for Fake Patty’s Day, which celebrated its 10th Anniversary this past March, drawing in thousands to celebrate the famous event.
Aggieville is more than just an entertainment district, it’s the place where the city of Manhattan gathers to celebrate and revel in their one common bond; their Wildcat pride. Aggieville is full of wonderful shops, restaurants, bars and more. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, be sure to make the trip to Aggieville.