This beer-pounding institution has acquired status as a standard UMass reunion hangout. In classic college-bar fashion, each night here means something different. One night might bring 10-cent mozzarella sticks (there's something or other for 10 cents on most nights during the academic year), while another might bring karaoke (at last check, it was Wednesdays). There's also an immensely popular trivia night, and, for the more physical, a couple of pool tables and video games. Charlie's also has a particular penchant for inventive drink-naming. There is a long list of cocktails, each of which is named after a year, and each of which carefully integrates something that happened that year along with the name "Charlie." The 2000 Chuck Knoblauch, for example, is explained as follows: " After one of these, even you couldn't make the throw to first. " Not bad at all for menu humor (trust us). There are also some rather frightening-sounding combinations. The Grateful Dead is grape soda mixed with vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, and Razzmatazz (raspberry liqueur). Hmm. Maybe you'd do better to stick to one of the standard American beers on tap, which are available, of course, by the pitcher.
The food is surprisingly decent for a college bar. The standard selection of burgers is inexpensive and definitely edible. The rest of the menu is a laundry list of bar food standards: Buffalo wings, nachos, chili, jalapeno poppers, chicken tenders, and so on, and they're all happily served until midnight. The atmosphere is just what you'd expect when coming to quaff-neon beer signs, pool tables, television, wall- mounted photos, and all the rest. Very little goes on here until around 10pm or so. Charlie's is not for everyone, but it has long filled its well- specified role quite admirably.