Food & Drink Freshers

YUSU Bars: A brief tour of York’s hottest campus bars

Samuel Goodall takes a look round the YUSU bar scene

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YUSU Bars: A brief tour of York’s hottest campus bars

Hello, welcome, and congratulations to all those freshers starting at York this September! York is a wonderful place to study and socialise. With such a huge number of you beginning at York this term, here Nouse takes you through the University of York’s students' union bars, probably the best bars in the world…


Courtyard has been a staple of York’s thriving bar scene for just over 10 years now. In that time, it has become one of the most popular bars on campus, with a busy atmosphere, great music, Sky Sports, and much, much, more. Courtyard is unique in that it resides pretty much dead centre of campus West, meaning students on our West side can use the spot as an ideal meeting point to begin their night out, study session, or even just have a quiet drink regardless of the college they’re in.

Courtyard hosts it’s famous bi-termly club night Time Warp, which sees YUSU’s resident DJ play bangers from times gone by. From the 70s right up until the present day, there is sure to be something for everyone. Sick of your flatmates hogging the aux lead at pre-drinks? Head to Time Warp. Sick of your flatmates in general? Head to Time Warp. Sick of your Vanbrugh prison block? Time Warp. You won’t be disappointed.

The venue also boasts an impressive daytime and late-night menu. The former provides an amazing range of food from fresh burgers to the legendary Courtyard nachos, with the latter serving up luscious pizzas.

Make sure you remember to download the YoYo app on your smartphone, YUSU’s alternative to debit card payments. You think you won’t be spending that much in Courtyard, but you’re wrong, and you’ll hate yourself for missing out on those precious reward points.

Vanbrugh Arms

A relatively new addition to the YUSU venues, Vanbrugh Arms (or V-Bar to the resident OAP’s) has been transformed since becoming part of YUSU in 2018.

Vanbrugh Arms may sound like a traditional English pub, it may feel like a traditional English pub. That is because Vanbrugh Arms IS a traditional English pub. Serving a wide range of fine real ales, supplied by the best breweries in York, you may find yourself there should you actually want to taste the beer you’re drinking.

Not an ale kind of person? No problem, the venue boasts a slick range of gins which are updated regularly, along with a quality range of tonics to accompany them. Gins are served to your taste, with your choice of garnish and tonic. Should you be new to the gin game, all the Vanbrugh Arms servers are trained to accompany your choice of gin with the most appropriate garnish and tonic for your pleasure.

Vanbrugh Arms is an excellent social space, with no TVs or garish fruit machines, this is a pub where you and your new flatmates can have a proper chat over a proper drink. Vanbrugh Arms also hosts a brilliant quiz and open mic night every other Friday, and every Monday they run the immensely popular Jazz Night. Be sure to cross this one off your list.


Where else but D-bar?

D-bar has been a safe-haven for Derwent students since the dawn of time. It is also the place to be for any and all sports socials. Time, effort, and resources have been put into D-bar this summer, bringing it up to the standard of any class sports bar.

New TVs, Sky Sports, Pool tables, darts and the fact that it resides as a 24-hour social space even long after the bar has closed makes D-bar a place where minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, and days to weeks. Leaving you looking at your bank balance – and calendar – wondering “Wtf did I do?”. Wtf did you do indeed? Regardless, as memories fade and the hangover sets in, you’ll know a good time was had by all.

The most striking feature of D-bar is its sheer size, as the venue spills over into the behemoth that is Derwent dining, there is virtually zero chance you and your friends will fail to find a seat.

But perhaps it is in the humble ‘D-event’ where you will find first find yourself gazing at the dreadnought that is D-bar. Over the years many will have become accustomed to the legendary D-Event, Derwent’s premier club night, which has seen phenomenal end-of-year acts such as Vengaboys, Lethal Bizzle, Scouting for Girls, and many, many more. If there is one thing you must do in your first year, it is to lose your D-event virginity. We advise you to start practising your best rendition of Sweet Caroline now.


Ah, Lounge, sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? Don’t let the name fool you, this venue is YUSU’s prime events space. Perfect for those sports clubs and societies looking to host a big bash, quiz, karaoke, etc. You get the idea, right?

Lounge should not be overlooked. Despite its unique status as an events venue, Lounge sees some of the biggest and best events on campus. This includes LGBT society’s Glitterball, the phenomenal Roses club night, the James College quiz and much more.

With brand new furniture, lighting, BOSE PA system and a range of premium spirits and beers, Lounge has gone from a relatively understated venue to a bouncing baby regularly frequented by York University’s sports team and societies.

With this being an events space, make sure to ring ahead and book the space. Lounge won’t just let any old riff-raff in now.


Finally, we have Glasshouse. Being campus East’s sole venue, for the many of you enrolling into either Constantine, Goodricke or Langwith, this will be your main port of call.

Glasshouse benefits from the thriving community that is campus East, making it a prime social hub. Rather like Courtyard, it boasts an impressive daytime and late-night menu and caters to the large international community that enrol on Heslington East, with menus offering Chinese translations for the benefit of our overseas neighbours.

Glasshouse hosts events nearly every night of the week, so don’t fret if the thought of hiking over to campus West fills you with dread, the venue will be there to welcome you with open arms with karaoke, pub quizzes, and the ever-popular Marmite club-night, which plays the cheesiest of hits to see you through the night!

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