Red Wave Inn, just a stoneâ€™s throw from the Kremen Education Building across Shaw Ave., has been one of the more popular pubs among Fresno State students for over 22 years.
With more than 60 beers (36 on tap) in glass sizes ranging from 10 ounces to an enormous 34 ounces, cider, six types of wine, Korean-made sweet potato vodka and sake available, this is a bar for the discerning brew connoisseur.
Several years ago, Red Wave expanded its barroom by almost double to accommodate the demand for more space that was needed as crowds steadily grew.
â€œIâ€™ve been coming here off and on since back when it was a hole in the wall,â€ Isaac Bonaker, an enology student at Fresno City College said. â€œI come here at least two or three times a week because of the service and selection of beers.â€
Nestled between a textbook store and a smoke shop, Red Wave Inn doesnâ€™t fit the usual mold of a flashy college hangout, but in spite of its unorthodox outward appearance the establishment is one of the most popular bars in the area, especially during mid-week.
Tuesday and Wednesday nights play host to karaoke and $2 domestic and $2.50 imported pints, but beware, showing up anytime after 10:30 p.m. usually results in more than a few minutes waiting for current customers to leave before there is room for the newcomers.
Of course, Red Wave is more than just a place to knock back some cold ones. A menu featuring American and Mexican foods including the ever-recommended burritos and tortas, old-fashioned cheeseburgers and other finger foods give the tavern a tasty dimension all of its own.
A family owned establishment, Red Wave Inn focuses on quality and service to keep their customers coming back.
John Beynon, an English professor at Fresno State attributed his patronage to â€œthe overall environment and the people.â€ Beynon also commented on the wide selection of beer as well as his love for the food, saying the carne asada torta was his favorite Red Wave snack.
Thursday is the busiest night of the week at Red Wave according to bartender Raquel Fierro. Fresno residents and students flock to the small, dimly lit watering hole to get their fill of ground beef tacos for a mere 50 cents. Once again, show up after 10:30 p.m. and good luck getting in.
Depending on the time of day, â€˜The Wave,â€™ as itâ€™s called by its frequent customers, could be the liveliest or the most laid-back spot in Fresno, and it seems this may be the genesis of its charm.