Aggieville in Manhattan, Kansas

Real Estate Agent with ERA High Pointe Realty

Aggieville is the name of six square blocks consisting of college-age oriented bars, restaurants and shops in Manhattan, Kansas.

Before 1898, students at the Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University) had to purchase their textbooks downtown, which, in the age before the automobile, was inconvenient due to distance and often, mud-soaked roads. The college decided to build a student bookstore and dining facility closer to campus, but it was shut down in June of 1899 after a political upheaval in the college's Board of Regents. That September, a group of students started the Student Co-Operative Association, and bought the bookstore.

That bookstore would serve as the cornerstone for a developing shopping district that catered specifically to college students. What was once a sparsely populated collection of houses was fast becoming a rich and diverse shopping center, the first of its kind in Kansas. Over time, the area would come to be called Aggieville, after the school's mascot, the Kansas State Agricultural College Aggies. Even when the school's mascot was changed to the Kansas State Wildcats, the name Aggieville stuck.

After World War I, Aggieville experienced enormous growth. Trolly lines were built, and later paved over during the car boom of the 1940s. In the 1950s, bars and restaurants began to develop and over the next 30 years, Aggieville would become known as an entertainment and dining district.

With the passing of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, Aggieville saw a slight dip in business at its bars and saw more shops and restaurants move in. However, with the hiring of Jon Wefald as Kansas State University's new president in 1986, enrollment at the college nearly doubled over the next 20 years and with the increased student population, Aggieville saw a new boom in all types of businesses: shops, bars and eateries.

Aggieville was home to riots in 1986, some of the earliest collegiate sports riots in the United States. In 1998, Aggieville played host to a massive celebration after the team's first defeat of Nebraska since 1969, which included the tearing down of the goal posts and dragging them, en masse, to the rooftop of Rusty's Last Chance.

Aggieville also plays host yearly to the "Little Apple New Year's Eve" celebration, where revelers pack the streets of the district to help ring in the new year. At midnight, a brightly-lit apple is dropped from the Varney's Bookstore marquee. The celebration brought an estimated 10,000 people to Aggieville on December 31, 2005, and was featured live on Fox News. A week before each Spring Break, Aggieville plays host to its annual "St. Patrick's Day in the Ville" celebration. This event is called "Fake Patty's Day" by locals because it actually takes place a week or so before the real St. Patrick's Day. Emerald-clad partygoers pack the streets early in the morning and stay late into the evening to watch the annual St. Patrick's Day 5K race and to sample Aggieville's bars.

Today, Aggieville is famous for its bars, its friendly "residents" and its massive, tumultuous celebrations following Kansas State football and basketball victories. It is a rich, vibrant and eclectic district with over 100 shops and eateries that serves as an entertainment district for Kansas State students and residents of the surrounding area.

Courtesy of

Posted by

Kelvi Cunningham, Realtor, ABR

G&A Real Estate, Inc.

Cell (785)341-6806


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