The official SBDomer Downtown South Bend Pub Tour is designed to be easily walkable and include a wide range of venues. The tour has a little something for everyone, but starts off at the higher class places downtown and generally gets a little less so as the tour progresses. You can skip 3 through 5 if you're not in the mood or not dressed for a classier joint

All of these establishments except the last one are basically on one city block, bordered by LaSalle, Main, Washington and Michigan Streets. This tour works great on the Friday of a home football weekend, but also works well enough on any other Wed - Sat night.

1. Sean O'Casey's - Marriott Hotel, NW corner of Colfax and St. Joseph Irish pub located across the street from the College Football Hall of Fame. Indoor/outdoor seating in a bar designed and constructed in Dublin and shipped to South Bend. All of the usuals you'd expect on tap, with a full Irish food menu. This is a great place to start a football friday if you skip the pep rally.

2. Football Fridays Tent Party - middle of Michigan Street by the Hall of Fame Live music, food, beer, mixed drinks and wine from 7 to 10 pm on home game Fridays (starting at 6 for the PSU game). A huge tent (heated in cold weather) is erected over Michigan Street. This is a great place to fill the gap between the pep rally and the time the bars start to get going. Licensed Notre Dame apparel is on sale in case you didn't bring the right clothes from home for our unpredictable weather. This event only happens on the Friday night of home football weekends, so on to stop 3 on any other night. Ask for me at this event for updates on things going on downtown.

3. Club Noma - walk N on Michigan (opening late 2006) Asian fusion restaurant/jazz and martini bar. Same ownership as Siam on N. Main St. Currently under construction in the old Senor Kelly's location, expected to open after the jellyfish for the giant tanks arrive later in '06. More info to be posted after the opening.

4. The Vine - NW corner of Michigan and Colfax (Pass up McCormick's for now - we'll get to that later.) This is our local wine bar/restaurant, in its second location after a successful start-up near the Hall of Fame. The bar area is small, but a good place to kick off your tour. Very popular on the distaff side. Reasonable selection of beer, mostly in bottles, full dinner menu available.

5. Club LaSalle - walk W on Colfax This is on the third floor above LaSalle Grill. It's our brick wall, cigar bar, couch-filled jazz club nightspot. Great place to relax and get a tremendous appetizer or light meal. A favorite Thursday night spot for celebrities in for football weekends or other events. Smithwick's on tap.

6. Madison Oyster Bar - walk W on Colfax, cross Main, walk S on Main You may remember a place by this name near the East Race. The only thing this shares with that is the name. The first floor is one of those long-bar, narrow room neighborhood type joints. Reasonable bar food and beer selection. Don't miss the cool third floor. It has pool tables up there for early evening but is better later when the crowd fills the room.

7. Fiddler's Hearth - walk S on Main This is our public house. A good place to spot young Irish dancers or local bands playing Irish folk music. Plenty of good beer and food from the British Isles available. Its true character is not apparent on crowded football weekends, but at other times a relaxing and pleasant place to pass the time with friends and family (kids welcome).

8. BW-3 - walk S on Main, cross Main, E on Washington You probably have one of these in your town. The only "chain" in the group. Skip it if you want local or authentic places, or stop in for lots of televisions, wings and a decent selection of draft beers.

9. McCormick's - N on Michigan This is still the nasty dive you remember from your college days, although it has been expanded. It has no redeeming qualities other than large cheap beers. A true classic and worthy of a stop at the end of any self-respecting pub tour.

10. Corby's - walk N on Michigan, E on Colfax, over the river, over the East Race, N on Niles to LaSalle No this is not THE Corby's, formerly located at the fabled Five Points intersection, but it IS the Corby's featured in Rudy. As crowded, drunken, dirty and shameless as any truly great college bar could hope to be. If you go in for that kind of scene, you'll love it here. Outdoor tents expand capacity during football season.

That last walk over to Corby's is not as long as it sounds (about 4 blocks), but it's not as short as the other walks on the tour - I just can't, in good conscience recommend that you drive at this point. We don't have roaming cabs in South Bend, but if you make it through this pub tour in one piece, keep these numbers handy: Yellow Cab (574) 233-9333, Checker Cab (574) 288-7777

Have fun in downtown South Bend and don't forget to tip your bartenders and servers.