Unwind, eat, drink, and chill at the Rathskeller

The Rathskeller, better known as The Rat, is a popular student hangout that offers great food and a variety of entertainment during the school year. The Rat has been a part of UM for 30 years, offering students and administrators a great place to gather outside of the classroom.
Its patio, by Lake Osceola is a scenic spot that draws a crowd on sunny afternoons. Inside, the downstairs area of the octagonal building holds the restaurant. Its upstairs area overlooks the restaurant and has pool tables, 14 television sets, a 15-foot big screen and sofas. As a bonus, the pool tables, board games and dart games are free, which is a word students love to hear. An unusual feature is the stage, part of the second floor that has the appearance of hanging suspended above the bar. The stage welcomes local bands, usually comprised of UM students.
“We try to make it as laid back as possible,” Nia Grace, chair of the Rathskeller Advisory Board, a student-run group in charge of handling Rathskeller issues such as entertainment, reservations and renovations, said.
The Rat’s entertainment lineup includes an array of programs, including student organization parties, homecoming events, live local bands and DJs, talent contests, karaoke and spades tournaments. One of the more popular programs is the Belly Bust Comedy Show, which is held the last Friday night of every month and features comedians from BET and Comedy Central.
Other new and exciting programs that will start this fall are Freaky Fridays and Thirsty Thursdays, scheduled for alternate weeks. Freaky Fridays will be themed events like Rodeo Freaky Friday, which will have a mechanical bull, and Urban Freaky Friday, showcasing an MC battle. Thirsty Thursdays will feature musical entertainment from hot local and UM bands.
Sports television programming is extremely popular at the Rat. Students, faculty and staff can watch all of their favorite sporting events, including various seasonal sports and the NFL Sunday Ticket, on the big screen or one of the several televisions located throughout the Rat. It’s also a popular hangout to watch Hurricanes football, because the Rat sponsors tailgates for all away football games, complete with free food and giveaways.
According to management, the most popular dishes include burgers, chicken fingers, milkshakes and chicken pitas. Cane cards, dining dollars and credit cards are accepted. The Rat Happy Hour runs from 4-7 p.m. daily and features food and drink specials. It’s also the only place on campus that serves beer and wine, for those over 21 with a valid ID.
The Rat prides itself on having something for everyone. It appeals to people who want to have a high-energy gathering with friends and to people who just want a place to unwind. For more information on the Rat, contact 305-284-6310.