Good Time Charley’s is iconic. Ask an alum or any current student old enough to get in and you are certain to get a glowing review accompanied by anecdotes of good (and bad) nights out, unforgettable memories and a definite mention of fishbowls. 

The campus bar scene staple caters to the lively college crowds, hosting events from trivia to karaoke each night, an impressive happy hour every Tuesday-Saturday afternoon and a shot menu that goes on for what feels like forever.

Charley’s owner Adam Lowenstein said this fall has felt like a long-awaited return to normal, and said happy hour has played a big part in that.

“It’s amazing to be recognized for the best happy hour in Ann Arbor,” Lowenstein said. “This year has been great because it’s definitely felt like a return to normal over the past two years. Even in 2021, even though students were back, they weren’t back in full speed. So to have a real school year and(a) real football season and beautiful weather in the fall … It’s been a great fall.”

As an icon, Charley’s has stood the test of time as one of the last buildings left unchanged on South University Avenue. As other bars and restaurants have undergone facelifts and residential skyscrapers have taken over the formerly bar-lined block, Charley’s 40-year tenure has proven its place in the campus community. 


Lowenstein said the Charley’s staff is happy to see the increase in development, but is also happy the Charley’s storefront will remain the same. 

“I don’t think you can build a new bar to look like a 40-year-old bar,” Lowenstein said. “You know, I don’t think you’d have the character we have today if we had to start from scratch. We’re proud to be that original location.” 

Daily News Editor Shannon Stocking can be reached at sstockin@umich.edu.