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, 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.

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Cassidy Jimerson
Cassidy Jimerson is a mass communication major and a junior for the 2017/2018 academic year. Jimerson has contributed to several publications including CMU's Horizon Magazine. This is Cassidy's first year with The Criterion and is serving as the newspaper's assistant news editor. Cassidy also writes opinion pieces for her column "My Wine Ate My Homework."


  1. Have you ever been to barons?! Food is great and they have local beers on tap. Not to mention live music most days of the week. Have you ever been to the brewery or the distillery in palisade? Both places have live music 3-4 nights a week! These places exist you’re just overlooking them.

  2. Totally agree! There is no fun, cool, hip bars or dance bars anywhere. Sub-par is on par with the description of this towns nightlife regardless of your age group. It is so disappointing when you can’t find a fun place to dance at.
    INVESTOR’S here is a great opportunity!
    Suggestion:: Live rock band in the front of the house, Hip Hop DJ or Country music in a separate room in the back of the house. Have a nice long bar in between with tables and chairs throughout. Serve simple, but great, affordable bar food! $10 cover fee gets you in!

  3. Sabrosas was the absolute best spot in town before they left. Local Art, Local Music and Kareoke twice a week. Awesome friendly and familiar staff, always open to new things. It was also right in the heart of mainsteeet.

  4. When I came to live in Grand junction not knowing about this place , my brother was giving me a tour, he said, ” Grand junction doesn’t have a night life. It a town that goes to bed early to wake up early to enjoy the outdoors. If your looking for nightlife this isn’t the place for you .” I was very attracted to this place because that was the very kind of life I was escaping . I love that there is no ” night life” . I’ve been here 15 years.

  5. A shallow, uneducated, and overly critical look at a small portion of the bars in junction. Not a good source of information as it is childishly bias and lazily researched. Garbage writing.

  6. What a whiney article. The subtitle says it all: “I’m going to stand on the sideline and judge everything about this place without making the slightest attempt of doing anything about it.”
    Go enjoy some of the out of town bands that Baron’s brings in. Better yet, enjoy a nightlife outside in one of our hundreds of camping areas.
    I’m pretty tired of reading junk articles from this publication. I’ll pass next time The Crite comes up in my feed.

  7. Grand Junction does have the bar that everyone should be checking out. Central Station 2993 North Ave. Central Station has a huge Dance Floor where you can dance a great mix of dance music. Hip Hop , County and top 40. They are no Cover charge with reasonable drink prices. This bar doesn’t have live entertainment so you don’t have to listen to bands that play music you don’t want to listen or dance to.

  8. What this town needs is a retro video/pinball arcade bar downtown for people who want a beer and spend a roll of quarters on some 20-30 year-old games that don’t cost a dollar to play and don’t give out prize tickets for cheap plastic toys. It works in Denver as there are 3-5 such places (see: 1UP), and you don’t have to listen to Chuck-E-Cheese aged kids screaming for more pizza.

  9. If you want night life then go to a college that is in a town that has night life. Why do people feel the need to move here, and then try to change it to where they came from? Go back, we don’t need you here.

  10. Agree with all of this….plus every patio looks onto a parking lot, instead of the mountains we’re surrounded by. No rooftop patios. No bar is unique. Barely anything open past 11. Brutal.

  11. Grand Junction used to have some fun places to go. I remember a place called Whiskey River. Packed house every Wed,Fri,andSat to live country music with Jay Ketchem and Texas Moon. They had a few concerts too. People like Darrel Worley, Rodney Atkins, Restless Heart, Randy Owens(Alabama). And of course BLAKE SHELTON. More than 25 concerts over 5 or so years. Then the cheesy bars like Cactus Canyon came to town to leech off the success of the smaller clubs. Cheap and cheesy won over class. The recession came and Now you have nothing. Big cities have managed to hang on to their nightlife but for the most part the business is dead. But they change every 2 years. College kids want the cheapest (read free)because they have no money and the adults don’t want to be around stupid acting kids. GJ is still recovering from the recession. Maybe you should open a club.

  12. Use to go out to Central Station in hopes it would some day be more like the Rose. Very disappointed to go listen and dance to country bands only to have a DJ blast absolute crap music between sets that were to short and breaks that were completely to long. Non existent waitress staff or those who were never trained how to be a waitress. Very sad as they do have an awesome dance floor and probably just need an awesome manager who knows what they are doing…

  13. Try. So he brass. Rail on karaoke

    Friday nites. Singers from 21 yes yes old
    To 75 year olds. Great singers

    U can dance. Sing with. Live

    Guitarist request music all styles

    Bout 40 singers a week

  14. Sadly not sure if the author has ever been off campus! Right THERE is Kannah Creek, just cross the street! Great patio, music, brewery, gives back to the community with many fundraisers, great food. Edgewater Brewery- by the river, great patio, games, community fundraisers, live music. Palisade Brewing, great patio, great beer, great patio, live music. Rockslide Brewery- great brewery, great food, fun patio, lots of community fundraisers. Bailey’s lounge-live music, AMAZING karaoke singers-truly talented. Film Showcases at the Mesa Theater showcasing film makers from across the world, and LOCAL filmmakers. Concerts, comedians, open mic, karaoke all the time at Mesa Theater, they also do a lot of fundraisers for the community. Charlie Dwellingtons-Live local talent, blues jam night, Open Jelly Night, Drag Queen karaoke, great food, great patio. Grand Junction is blessed with amazing local musicians, you can find them hustling pretty much every night of the week at local bars, restaurants, hotels, farmers markets! Some really big time talent that have been on tour with bands like the Grateful dead and now play HERE! Open your eyes, explore your world. Educate yourself before you write an article. Otherwise, I guess you’re just going to have to suffer through the bad feedback you get.

  15. We don’t have breweries??!!!
    Kannah Creek
    Palisade Brewing Co
    Copper club
    Suds Brothers
    And… Peach Street Distillery
    Not to mention we have 22 wineries with tasting rooms.
    Girl… You need to get out more.

  16. This was one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. It’s perfectly okay for you (author) to have this opinion, and knowing Grand Junction, I’m sure you’re right, but all this article gives us is incoherent complaint after complaint! “A cat named Meatball”, really? Who is supposed to know what that means? This article is nowhere near professional. I wrote better than this in my sophomore year. Smh.

  17. No. Don’t try to change GJ, leave it with its sub-par nightlife. It’s just enough for the locals here to enjoy, and not enough to keep whiney college students like you around. GJ is to enjoy the outdoors, the simplicity, the people, the community, and the history. Don’t taint it with your millennial ideals of what a “college town” should have or be like. If you are that displeased, I suggest finding a college in a bigger city. But most importantly, I suggest the person Heading the Criteria reconsider your position and title.


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