The Chug, a small dive bar located in the Village, was once a pool hall for the Muncie community and Ball State students. “Papa Lou” turned the place into a bar in 1970 and named it The Chug a Mug. Terence K. Lightning Jr. // DN
Muncie Origins: The Chug maintains 'dive bar,' place in community since 1970
Editor's note: Muncie Origins is a Ball State Daily News series profiling various businesses that originated in Muncie.
Before becoming The Chug, the small dive bar was a pool hall. It was a place for the Muncie community and Ball State students to meet and play pool.
It wasn't until 1970 that "Papa Lou" turned it into a bar named The Chug a Mug.
Address: 409 Martin St.
Hours: 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 6 p.m. to midnight Sunday
The bar's general manager, Phil Juskevice, said when he came to The Chug from Scotty's Brewhouse eight years ago, he wanted to do a lot of maintaining, but also improving.
"I think there was a lot of maintaining the personality of The Chug, but also taking it to the next level, offering even more of what was offered in the past," Juskevice said. "It has always been the dive bar that students and Muncie in general come to, however, we wanted to take it to the next level and offer maybe a little better service, a little better of everything."
While The Chug's location in the Village draws in a lot of Ball State students, residents of Muncie and surrounding communities also come for a drink and weekly events.
"We definitely have a few from the Muncie community," Juskevice said. "I have a group of older guys that come in here since the doors opened. They actually came before it was The Chug. They would come here in their teens and play pool."
Juskevice said The Chug has been a huge part of the city since the beginning.
"I think it has been a staple in the Muncie community itself, not just Ball State," he said.
The Chug has not only been a place for current and former Ball State students to gather, but a place of employment for many.
"I think that's kind of a great thing too about here, because as long as I have been here it's typically Ball State students who work here," Juskevice says. "I went back to school and I am currently a Ball State student. I just think that's a nice little bridge to Ball State itself, that most of the people that are employed here are either current or former Ball State students."
Juskevice said he and the other employees support The Chug's image as a dive bar.
"I think that holds a stigma to some people," he said. "I think that's what we are and we don't try to be anything we aren't."
Today, The Chug offers fast service, cheap drinks and shows with no cover charges. Juskevice said by not charging a cover fee, it is a way they can give back to the customers and the community.
"A lot of them are our friends and I know that might sound corny, but we don't just necessarily look at them as customer. We look at them as people who are coming in and hanging out with us," Juskevice said.
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