Location: Bloomington, IN
Nick’s English Hut (or “Nick’s” for short) has been a Bloomington classic since before I was born. Established in 1927, Nick’s has been a local favorite for over 85 years. The restaurant is known for its pub grub, IU memorabilia, and lively atmosphere. It’s one of the best restaurants to watch a sports game, and in particular, an IU basketball game. Just type in “iu kentucky nicks” in a YouTube search, and you’ll get a glimpse of what the atmosphere at Nick’s can be.
I’ve been to Nick’s many times to watch IU basketball games or to grab a drink with friends. Nick’s really does offer a unique experience, but surprisingly, the food does not live up to the restaurant’s reputation. Generally speaking, the food I’ve ordered at Nick’s has been very average and slightly overpriced. The pizza is average, the burgers are average, the stromboli is average, and the fish fillet is average. The sink the biz fries are one of the few items I really enjoy, and in my opinion the wings are really good too. It’s disappointing though, that Nick’s has such a great reputation in one of the nation’s best college towns, yet has such a limited selection of good food.
Another thing Nick’s is well known for is a drinking game called “Sink the biz.” Sink the biz is a popular game on Friday and Saturday nights for both college students and adults. The game is played with a bucket full of beer and a drinking glass floating in the beer. Each person playing the game has a glass of beer that they pour into the floating glass. The person that causes the glass to “sink” in the bucket has to drink the beer in that glass. It’s a very original game and one that adds character to Nick’s. It’s also another reason why Nick’s is so well known in town.
Overall, I am a fan of Nick’s. The restaurant/bar offers a unique experience and has been a Bloomington classic for years. However, since this is a food blog, I must be honest and critical of the establishment’s food. In my opinion, the food at Nick’s does not live up to the restaurant’s reputation. Nick’s will always be a great place to watch IU basketball (or other sporting events for that matter), but if you’re looking for a great dinner, you should look someplace else. Still, let’s give credit where credit is due. Nick’s is a great bar and a Bloomington classic.