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Drinks, food and a view of MSU; Graduate Rock Bar re-opens patio space for summer

Graduate Rock Bar
Posted at 10:36 AM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 13:24:06-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Standing ten stories high, the Graduate Hotel is hard to miss in downtown East Lansing. But it's what sits on top of the building that's a bit of a hidden gem.

“The view speaks for itself," said Food and Beverage Director Rick Sauer. "The service is fantastic and the cocktails and food are top notch.”

The Rock Bar sits on the rooftop of the hotel and Sauer said the patio is back open for the season.

“We're on the sun right now and it feels fantastic," said Sauer. "We're very excited to get everybody back up here after a long winter.”

They'll be providing an outdoor seating option to enjoy some good food and Michigan State University themed drinks.

“Our Sparty water is a craft cocktail that we make and that's definitely a top seller. Everybody seems to enjoy that," Sauer said.

There's also a view of Spartan Stadium and MSU's campus.

“The view is a million dollar view," Sauer said.

The view
Outdoor seating overlooks Grand River Ave. and Spartan Stadium.

If you go on the right night, you might even gt lucky and run into some familiar faces. But that's one you'll have to find out on your own.

“Well, we don't talk about our guests," Sauer said. "We do have a few key basketball players from the 2000 championship that do visit quite frequently.”

The Rock Bar opened last July, a month after the hotel opened. Sauer said it was an instant hit.

"When we opened in July, it was an instant hit that kind of became tapped in the town," Sauer said. "All the influencers were up here.”

So this year, they're partnering with local food and drink vendors for quarterly events called School Spirits.

“It's a partnership with local vendors. We chose Red Cedar Spirits due to their their vicinity," Sauer said. "They're super close to us over on the other side of East Lansing. We paired cocktails made with their spirits with some custom food from Chef Scotty downstairs and it turned out very well. Our first one was last Thursday, and it was a success and we'll be looking to do those quarterly.”

Graduate Rock Bar
A chicken sandwich served at the Rock Bar.

While their are a lot of bars and hangout spots in East Lansing, Sauer said there's nothing like the Rock Bar.

“Well, other than the fact that we're ten stories up on top of the other bars, I think it's great because we welcome everybody," Sauer said. "Students come up here. Faculty comes up here. Folks in the neighborhood come up here. People who are just visiting East Lansing come up here. It's a nice place to mix and mingle."

The Rock Bar is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to midnight.

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