Nick’s English Hut a staple in Bloomington


Ronni Moore Ronni Moore

Since 1927, Nick’s English Hut, 423 E. Kirkwood Ave., has served in creating many fond memories for IU students and Bloomington locals.

With the favorite game “sink the Biz” created by the popular hangout, Nick’s has become a staple for the student and Bloomington communities alike.

Niles Hall, a shift manager at Nick’s, has worked there for two years and said the game was “something that the tradition of Nick’s created.”

Hall said the game was thought up by owner Richard Barnes. Hall said Barnes found the idea was reminiscent of when old taverns and saloons used to serve beer buckets. These businesses would serve the beer in buckets for children to carry back to their grandparents or parents when the children were sent to bring the beer home, Hall said.

“Sink the Biz” is played with a bucket filled with beer, Hall said. A 5-ounce glass gets slipped into the bucket with the weight of some beer on the bottom of the glass. Everyone playing then takes turns pouring beer into the glass. Sooner or later, the weight of the beer being poured sinks the glass into the bucket of beer, filling the glass to the top. The “loser” must drink the beer.

“That’s the thing about ‘Sink the Biz,’” Hall said. “Everyone’s a winner or a loser.”

Another tradition at Nick’s is the “Nick’s Bricks” located on the sidewalk in front of the pub. Hall said “Nick’s Bricks” started in the early 1980s, and any bricks bought go directly to the IU Student Athletes Scholarship Fund, a fund administered through the IU Alumni Association.

“It’s something we allow to do to be part of the tradition,” Hall said.

Hall said Nick’s English Hut also contributes to a local farm where they purchase many of their goods. He said all the food purchased is “all-natural with no hormones.”

“All of our beef comes from local farms,” Hall said. “Anything we can get from a local grower, we do.”

Hall said IU graduates and returning students should be on the lookout for a changing menu and look. He said people should make sure to stop back in the fall semester when Nick’s is redoing the upstairs bar and opening the space for more room, Hall said.

Hall said not to worry about the changes though.

“People have established a lot of fond memories at Nick’s,” Hall said. “No matter how much it will change, it will always be Nick’s.”

Senior Isaac Day said “Sink the Biz” is the main reason he goes to Nick’s, as well as the mature atmosphere. He has been going to the pub since he turned 21 last year, he said.

“Nick’s is like ‘Cheers’ to me,” Day said. “Everyone knows your name. It has a kind of English oldschool rustic feel to it, and the different setting makes it delicious.”

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