Desolate: that is the one word I would use to describe Grand Junction’s nightlife. Considering that Grand Junction is a college town consisting of many frisky 20-something students, you would think the nightlife would be popping. This, however, is a sad misconception. The nightlife as a whole is absent, but, most depressing, are the bars.
Within the mile stretch that is downtown, there are four main bars to go to. All of them are lacking in some way or another. Listed below are a few of the bars that this fine town has to offer and what you can expect in each.
Twisted Turtle is one of the dives which requires a cover charge. It’s known for its notoriously sticky floors (why are they sticky? your guess is as good as mine) and the drunken fights commencing after midnight. Expect over-priced drinks and a strange or nonexistent crowd.
Ella’s Blues Room is the second destination. Upon arriving at Ella’s, I was approached by a 40-something, camo-wearing fool who promptly asked if my hair color was natural (it is). He then continued to tell me about his fetish for redheads. Believe it or not, it wasn’t the strangest interaction I have had at Ella’s. Apart from this weird incident, the french fries were subpar, and that’s where I draw the line: bad fries.
Quincy Bar is an old-timey watering hole that was referred to me by many locals. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this bar had a pet cat named Meatball wandering about. That sentence alone should tell you exactly what type of place this is, and I don’t feel the need to elaborate further.
Warehouse25sixty-five: The name, staff and furniture lead you to believe this is a hipster bar and grill. They have sriracha ketchup for God’s sake, but the choice of country music and the boot wearing cowboys sitting at the bar tell a different story. The staff somehow managed to make me feel worse about myself than I already do.
It would be unfair of me to say that there isn’t a single place to go out in Grand Junction. The Ale House has always been one of my favorite spots to hang out on a Friday night. The food is delicious and the drink specials are always fun. The live music and patio seating make for one of the most unique bar/grill in Grand Junction.
Still, many college-aged students agree that the nightlife could use some upgrading.
Tiana O’Connor, psychology student said, “There’s nothing unique about any bar here. The only really popular one has a cover and isn’t worth the money. I think a good change would be introducing a brewery or distillery. It would be more interesting and would allow for more live music and better alcohol.”
Other cities are doing it right. I can go to a joint in Denver where you enter through a secret doorway that’s disguised as a bookcase. Dick’s Last Resort will scream obscenities at you while you order drinks. There’s a bar in New Orleans that’s a Christmas wonderland all year round.
According to towncharts.com, approximately one fifth of Grand Junction’s total population is between the ages of 18-24. The market for nightlife is here.
Maybe I’m expecting too much, but I want to be tempted to go out, rather than just stay in with a bottle of wine and my cats.
I realize that an over-the-top bar may not thrive in Grand Junction, but a unique pub could put a refreshing spin on the choices we have right now.