Crazy Horse: Ride the Mechanical Bull
The Crazy Horse Saloon is a popular nightclub in downtown Chico. This large dance club is definitely a student hot spot, with several bars and dance floors to choose from. It’s the “famous” home of the North Valley’s only mechanical bull. And if you’ve never ridden the bull I suggest you start here. Crazy Horse spins hot tunes and specializes in cheap drinks. But the place fills up fast on the weekends and when the university is in session so be prepared to wait in line later in the evening. It’s one of the hottest places to drink, dance and socialize for the 20-something set in Chico. Cover charges vary by night, and as all bars in the state of California, they’re only open until 2 am. 21 and over.
Dress Code: Come dressed to dance. If you're planning to take a ride on the bull I recommend wearing jeans!
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Riley's: Home of the Power Hour
Rileys is one of the most popular bars in Chico. It's much smaller than the Crazyhorse or The Bear, and on a busy night you will be packed in with other people, so a spot at the bar and a good liver are gold. My buddies and I usually started out the night here, because the drinks are pretty cheap and there seemed to be a lot of girls on any given night. Rileys is famous for its "Power Hour" on Thursday nights, which is from 9-10. I'm not sure the exact prices since it's been a few years, but cocktails start out insanely cheap (maybe at like $1 or $2) and go up $0.25 every 15 minutes. This is probably the busiest time of the weekend for the bar.
Dress Code: No formal dress code.
Madison Bear Garden: Largest bar in Chico
As far as college town bars go, Madison Bear Garden (or known as "The Bear") to locals, is a pretty large one. It consists of two large floors and a very large outdoor area. The first floor has a bar as well as a good food menu, and consists mostly of tables and an arcade. The music played on this floor is usually classic rock. On the second floor, there is a decent size dance floor, and the music here is usually hip hop & house style. There are also some pool tables located on this floor. Outside is a very large patio area with a bar, and you can usually here country music here. On weekend nights this bar gets very busy. There is often a line to get in, but usually no cover charge (at least when I went there last). You can expect to be squeezing between people in the hallways, and there may be a wait to get a drink, especially if trying to order on the first floor.
Dress Code: There is no formal dress code, just wear what you would to any bar.
Crazy Horse: Your best bet for country music/dancing
The Crazy Horse Saloon was definately our favorite hang out in college. It is a western-themed bar and plays country and rock music. It can get pretty busy, especially on Saturday's which was lady's night while I was in school. The bar is 11,000 square feet so there is plenty of room, and it has a good size dance floor. There is a small cover charge some nights, but its worth it. The drinks are usually stiff, as well as reasonably priced, and we always had a blast here. In addition to the dance floor, it also has a balcony used as a smoking section, pool tables, and the always popular mechanical bull! The waitresses are beautiful, they wear next to nothing, and will at various times during busy nights get up on stage and dance Coyote Ugly style. It is definately a great place to go with friends and have a good time.
Dress Code: There is no enforced dress code that I know of, so just go wearing what you would be to any other bar. Remember, this is a college town, so its not like the patrons are rolling in money and get really dressed up when they go out.
La Salles: Live Music Venue
La Salles is a popular hot spot in downtown Chico. During the academic season this place really fills up with university students and young locals alike. It’s a popular place to grab a cheap drink, play some pool and dance the night away to local bands. On nights without live music DJs spin the latest tunes. Come early, this place fills up on the weekends and when school is in session.
Dress Code: It's a college bar... come as you are.
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Chico is a College town, so...
Chico is a College town, so with that goes plenty of partying. I've left my bar-hopping days far behind and prefer the quieter settings: there are many of those to be found in and around Chico. Just parking near the center of town and walking will take you to many choices of restaurants and entertainment from quiet and sedate to noisy and boisterous. You'll find what it is you're looking for.