The bar at Pour Brothers

1:17 a.m.— While eating my hot dog, the glow of incandescent lights hung from the treetops and blurred as I passed the crowds heading for home. I was nearing Howes Street and I still couldn’t find my car.

My wallet was empty. I needed to pee. It was cold, so very cold.

That was Friday night in Old Town — or, rather, Saturday morning — and, by all accounts, the night was a success.

My mission was simple: enjoy the night, no matter what happens. I started the night with $18.90 in my checking account.

Something Old

10:20 p.m. — I left my apartment ready to take on the night, like most weekends — let the shenanigans begin.

Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be that night, or maybe I’m starting to grow up, but I couldn’t handle the usual hot spots, like Trailhead, Bondi, Yeti, Rec Room, Lucky Joe’s, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, these bars are great. I have fond, half-conscious memories of debauchery and hooliganism rooted in these very places. Sometimes, tequila does make your clothes fall off, but I wouldn’t know. *cough* *cough*

But Friday just wasn’t one of those nights.

10:38 p.m. — I was standing in line to get into Lucky Joe’s for 20 or 30 minutes, nothing out of the ordinary; that wasn’t the problem.

The problem was the amount of people inside. With everyone bumping into each other, I feel like more beer ends up on the floor and on my shirt than in my stomach.

And conversation was impossible. I’m not a loud person: some say I’m docile by nature. No one could hear a word I spoke. They just nodded and smiled.

I left within the hour. It was all too much. I didn’t even get a drink.

Something New

11:14 p.m. — I needed a drink, like really badly. I was trying to have fun and it was a lot more work than it should’ve been.

I took off from the friends I met in the Square and ventured away on my own, eventually finding myself at Elliot’s Martini Bar. It’s not my typical kind of place, but I went with it.

It was quiet and dimly lit. It’s a small space, but it was far from the shoulder-to-shoulder atmosphere I had just left. While I waited for a friend, I grabbed a quick drink, bartender’s choice. He made me a “Winnie-the-Pooh-is-a-Drunk,” with bourbon, honey and fresh lemon. It was delicious.

But as great as that drink was, I won’t be stopping back soon. I love the place, not the price.

The drink was $7, and I tipped an extra buck, almost cutting my nightly budget in half. I’m all for trying new places and exploring Old Town, but I’m a graduating senior so quantity over quality. That’s why I love Sam’s Club.

11:35 p.m. — When my friend arrived, we headed to Pour Brothers, another fairly small bar I’ve never been to and grabbed a pint (I got New Belgium’s Snapshot and she had Dry Dock Brewing’s Apricot Blonde).

It felt like the set of a sitcom. I can’t explain why, but as I was drinking, I thought about how if I had a problem, I would come here. Not necessarily to drink, but because I was getting that weird TV, everything’s-going-to-be-okay vibe.

Pour Brothers is one of the many bars that makes up Fort Collins' bar scene. Photo by Lawrence Lam.
Pour Brothers is one of the many bars that make up Fort Collins’ bar scene. Photo by Lawrence Lam.

12:48 p.m. — We nursed our beers, costing $10 total including tip, and chatted for an hour before heading out. I bought her a beer, so she returned the favor by getting me a hot dog.

Now, a hot dog doesn’t sound good when you’re sober in the middle of the afternoon as you stand in line at a gas station to pay for your tank. But there’s something about a hot dog after midnight, when you’re just tipsy enough, that’s perfect.

1:18 a.m. — That hit the spot. It’s time to go home.

1:24 a.m. — Where the f*** is my car? I’m not even drunk.

1:33 a.m. — There it is.

The Morning After

9:30 a.m. — Like all good nights, it’s more about reminiscing the morning after than experiencing the actual night.

I didn’t get my night of debauchery, as I expected. There are other weekends and nights for that.

But that doesn’t mean my mission was unsuccessful. I found friends (new and old), tried new drinks and places, lost and found my car, ate a glorious hot dog, managed to keep 90 cents in my checking account and got home safe. But, above all, I enjoyed the night.