This local bar in a college town breaks all the rules. There are no apologies from owner Richey Ryan however, who proudly claims, “We are just what this town is missing.”
IN 1966, RICHEY’S UNCLE BOUGHT THE IVY INN AND SHORTLY AFTER that, came into the position to buy the property at its current location on Nassau Street. With hard work and dedication, the bar flourished for years as the local stomping ground for a shot and beer. After his uncle passed in 1995, Richey stepped in to take over with help from his family.
Today, the Ivy Inn retains that old school character it has always had. The diverse entertainment line-up throughout the week and prices that you can’t pass up make it a fun atmosphere. In 2013, the bar added a kitchen and is all about serving good quality food with the hope that it continues to set them apart in an Ivy League college town.
Heady Times couldn’t wait to sit down with Richey to hear more about his family’s history and how the Ivy’s charm and timeless-nature make it a desirable place to stop in for a beer. We were not disappointed! Read on to get the scoop about Ivy Inn, “where every hour is happy hour.”
Heady Times (HT): Surprise us! What’s your best selling beer?
Richey Ryan (RR): Narragansett. We go through 15 cases a week and run $2 16 oz. can special all day every day. We offer an Uptown Getdown special, a shot with a Narragansett.
HT: What would your uncle think about the Ivy Inn today?
RR: He would be proud. Had he not bought this property in ’73 and then moved in ’75, we wouldn’t be the same establishment. That single move created our future. During his time, it was a shot and beer bar, which is hard to evolve. He may have arched his back at certain things we do now (HT note: Richey says with a smile).
HT: Who’s your typical customer?
RR: It’s everyone’s bar. You could be next to a Princeton Professor, a local union guy, a grad student, or a gas attendant who went to Princeton High School. The beauty of it is that they all get along.
HT: We hear you have a lot of games to play. What can you expect to do at the Ivy?
RR: We have the only pool table and dartboard in town and a jukebox with a cool app feature you can control from your seat. Every Friday and Saturday we have live music from a DJ or band, and Thursday is karaoke. Trivia night is not to be missed on Tuesdays. Our outdoor patio offers more seating and is a good reason to step outside.
HT: Last question. Will you continue to be that charming, colorful bar no matter what comes next door 5, 10, 15 years from now?
RR: Absolutely. No doubt in my mind.
248 Nassau St., Princeton • ivyinnprinceton.com
About Kramer Beverage
Kramer Beverage is South Jersey’s largest beer wholesaler, owned and operated by four generations of the Kramer family since 1924. Kramer Beverage is based out of Hammonton, Atlantic County, and services eight counties in southern New Jersey with top brands from MillerCoors, Constellation, Yuengling, Boston Beer, Heineken USA, Pabst, Diageo, FIFCO and more. Kramer Beverage also distributes a wide variety of craft beers, from suppliers such as New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, to local favorites including Flying Fish, Double Nickel, Evil Genius, Glasstown, Sly Fox, and 2SP. For more information on Kramer Beverage, please visit www.kramerbev.com.