Boulder has many bars ranging from some truly classy institutions to places that remind you more of your shitty neighbor’s can-littered yard. There are many lists of Boulder bars, but none really hold them to what matters most. Coming straight from the good ole’ internet, let’s look at an honest review of Boulder’s bar life. Like,what else are you supposed to do here? Rock climbing? Hiking? Skiing? That’s just weird.
5.) The Sink: B-
Overview: As Boulder’s oldest bar at 93 years old, this place is still kicking. Conveniently located on the Hill, it’s a great place for a cheap burger and awkward dates.
Floor stickiness: Fairly sticky! Always can be counted on to kind of feel like your shoes are being gently pulled off by a one armed garden gnome.
Atmosphere: Kinda looks like one of those third grade charity painting jobs. No one really knows what the theme was supposed to be, but blended Sesame characters on the walls work.
Toilets: A few numbers that say “call for a good time”, but nothing too bad! Not the place to do a full sit-maybe more of a squat or strong hoover.
Cons: That fucking birthday shot has killed many a-goers. It’s a mix of whatever booze has fallen in the spill mat, hot sauce, and whipped cream. So many good birthday celebrators, all sunk at The Sink.
4.) Sundown Saloon: B
Overview: Ahh yes, the famous Downer. Opposite of its nickname, this place really is a good time. It is one of the go-to bars in downtown and a classic favorite for college students.
Activities: Unlike its brother, The Walrus, down the block, awkward dance parties are not the main form of entertainment. Darts (dangerous when drunk) and pool are the party favors here. With pitchers of beer as one of the more popular drinks, this is actually quite fun.
Atmosphere: The Sundown Saloon is kinda cool just because they have a shit ton of Christmas lights on the ceiling. It would be quite boring without the multicolored fairy lights that cover the entirety of the bars ceiling. The round booth tables are pretty cool too.
Toilets: These shitters do suck. For a packed bar, there are very few actual stalls. This is very dangerous too because people will run outside into the alley, take a quick piss in the parking spots 300 feet down and check themselves back in.
Cons: The fucking stairs! Rumored to be greased up for the decent on a Saturday night, it’s hellish. Bouncers use this as a sick form of testing sobriety or who was dumb enough to wear stilettoes to the Downer. Also, with it being downstairs, there is little ventilation. It gets hotter than hell and smells like regret.
3.) Dark Horse: B+
Overview: On the other side of town lies the Dark Horse. It’s for all the people on Baseline, below 18th and Moorhead that want to feel like they have a bar scene.
Activities: For those of you who want to turn up on a Tuesday, Dark Horse is your place. They have tricycle races around the bar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. This truly foolish event is for laughing at all your friends but still being overly competitive when the Buffs prove to not be doing well at any sport.
Atmosphere: Dark Horse comes across as your perfect sports bar kind of place. They’ve got wooden wheels, old signs, and neon signs to give a vibe that says flannels are 100% accepted.
Bonus: Dark Horse is right next to so much drunk fast food. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Cosmo’s are a great way to sober up and not break the bank.
Cons: Too far away. If Dark Horse was in the center of Boulder, it would kick ass. But sometimes, that $4.00 Lyft is just too much to not have a backup bar in range. Dark Horse is truly a lone horse.
2.) West End Tavern: A-
Overview: West End is a fun bar for sure and they also have some dank ass food. It’s the kind of place you can get shitfaced on a Friday night and bring your parents on Saturday afternoon for a nice happy hour.
Atmosphere: West End has one of the coolest bars because they have an outdoor rooftop patio. For Boulder, this shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s fucking shocking that not more places have a roof bar. Fit with a mix of hipster brick and American pub, it’s a rad hangout.
Activities: This is the place to sit down and just fucking enjoy it. The food is good, the drinks are plentiful, and when the roof is open, it gives a full view of the Flatirons. Great place for a first date!
Bonus: There is always great music. You will not hear Diplo or some DJ remix. It’s just some toe tapping music that everyone knows and enjoys.
Cons: This place is a bit expensive. Also, not the place to fully turn up. It’s a great pregame of girl’s night, but not if you’re looking to be a bit more sophisticated than grinding on that dude cause he bought you a drink.
1.) Bitter Bar: A
Overview: This premier cocktail cabin is everyone’s wet dream of what they wish they could do every Friday night. It’s groovy, modern, and tasty as shit. The drinks are a creative take on alcohol that doesn’t make you feel bad every time you’ve pounded a drink.
Atmosphere: Hipsters and people who aren’t a fan of bright lights love it here. The modern décor can almost be seen, but it’s nice and dark in there so it’s hard to tell. All the bartenders have sleek Euro haircuts and names like Thomas or Charles or River.
Activities: This is one of those places where the journey is half the experience. Girls get to wear stuff that doesn’t come with holes or rips in every crevasse and guys can actually brush their hair without it seeming boujee. You will actually feel like a grown up. Like this adult thing might not be so hard.
Bonus: Watching the bartenders make your drink is a mild porn. You find yourself getting all flustered when the bar tend is floating the home made lime seltzer on top because you know what those hands do. Every drink is like a piece of art that makes you drunk. Like really drunk. Those things are strong AF.
Cons: EXPENSIVE. For the college kid’s budget, it will get to you. It’s the place you can’t just have one drink because they all look super delicious and $30.00 later, you’re buzzed and broke. Happy hour ain’t bad though.
Yes, kids- there is in fact more to Friday nights in Boulder than Press Play or drinking lukewarm Burnetts in some jabroni’s fake-ass kitchen. Shocking, but that’s adulthood for ya. Other notable options are License No.1, Tahona (sort of), and, of course, staying in.
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