Every college campus has at least one rock 'n' roll bar populated primarily by grizzled, hard-drinking townies.

Every college campus has at least one rock 'n' roll bar populated primarily by grizzled, hard-drinking townies.

It's usually a bit off the beaten path, so undergrads have to sniff it out. And when they do, the patrons will probably swat the fresh-faced youths away - or at least ignore them - until the kids prove they're more than tourists in local music's skuzzy underbelly.

Cafe Bourbon Street is that kind of place. Located on Summit Street in a North Campus neighborhood nestled safely away from the dormitory swarm, it's been a hub for punk, metal and garage rock for the better part of a decade. It's been the incubator for some of the city's most out-there sounds; Times New Viking drummer Adam Elliott once called it "a DIY space with a liquor license." Oh, and it's the birthplace of "shitgaze," if that means anything to you.

A steady stream of the world's gnarliest underground rockers used to play Bourbon Street, but that has slowed to a trickle since 2008, when owner Lou Poster opened another venue called The Summit next door and moved most of the big touring shows there.

Nowadays Bobo, as it's affectionately known to regulars, still hosts a fair amount of national and local rock shows, and its Sunday night karaoke is among the best in town. But you're just as likely to stumble upon a handful of friends pounding whiskey shots and swooning over obscure records they snatched up at Used Kids earlier that afternoon.

The kitchen, which has hosted a number of upstart businesses including Extreme Wieners, Mr. Peeper's Pizza and Taco Ninja ("Assassinate your hunger!") is now managed in-house, offering a slate of scrumptious bar food to cure your PBR munchies.

And if you hang around long enough, you'll get to know the staff and clientele, who double as some of the most talented musicians in town. Maybe you'll even score some gigs for an upstart act of your own. Just don't talk about "Washington Beach" without doing your homework.