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Where to party in Boulder if you're under 21
by Dale Bridges
Imagine this: It’s Saturday night, and you’re an 18-year-old college student in Boulder, Colo. After being locked up for years in a government torture facility known as “high school,” you are now tasting freedom for the first time in your life. You are young, reasonably attractive, and ready to shuck the world like a proverbial oyster. In preparation for a night of unknown adventures, you have selected your favorite outfit (the one that makes you look like a sexy mofo), doused yourself with an expensive, artificial aroma from a tiny, glass bottle, and preened in front of the bathroom mirror until every hair on your body has achieved feng shui perfection. You gather a posse of like-minded hotties, and together you step into the crisp night air. As Einstein said after publishing the theory of relativity, “It is time to par-tay!” (Editor’s note: This is probably not true.)
It is a well-documented fact that the American legal system is an enormous buzz kill. For some reason, geriatric prudes have united together in this country and decided that young adults cannot consume the intoxicating elixir known as alcohol until they are 21 years old. This is sort of ridiculous, since everyone knows that this law is going to be repeatedly broken by curious teenagers who are out to have a good time.
Furthermore, most bars and music venues in town serve alcohol, and they employee large, neckless bouncers to stand (or, more often, sit) in front of their establishments and check IDs to make certain the place is filled with boring old people.
However, Boulder is a college town, and there is still plenty of activity after dark, even if you don’t want to join a fraternity and get your ass spanked by an upperclassman with Greek letters tattooed on his taint. Therefore, we have gathered together a list of late-night haunts that will aid you in your after-hours debauchery.
CU has plenty of activities to entertain bored college students. Contact your Resident Advisor to find out what’s happening near you, and check out the CU Program Council website (www.programcouncil.com) to learn about upcoming concerts, social events, cat juggling, nude knitting circles, etc., etc. In the basement of the University Memorial Center, you will find The Connection, which contains video games, pool tables, food-like products and bowling. Right next to The Connection is Club 156, which is one of the best small venues in town for live music. They feature fantastic local and national indie bands.
The Pearl Street Mall is the social epicenter of Boulder, and there’s always something interesting happening down that way. There are restaurants, bookstores, clothing shops, candy stores, and — well, basically anything the average human-type person might need for a night out on the town. During the spring and summer, hundreds of talented (and sometimes not-so-talented) street performers strut their stuff for live audiences. Please tip them. The Laughing Goat Coffee House features live music on a regular basis, and it’s also a great place to see poetry and wannabe bohemians. The Boulder Theater is one of the oldest and best venues in town for music, movies, theater productions and more. Check their website for all-ages activities (www.bouldertheater.com).
And if you have transportation, head east on Arapahoe until you hit Rock N Soul Cafe, which features acoustic music by a variety of singer-songwriters.
Boulder is filled with late-night coffee shops. In fact, there are so many that it would be pointless to try and discuss them all in this article. Here’s what you do: go find a dead cat, grab it by the tail, and swing it. We’re fairly certain you’ll hit a great coffee shop in Boulder. (Editor’s note: If you find a dead cat, do not pick it up. Call the proper authorities. We love animals. Please don’t sue us, PETA.)
Much to the chagrin of feminists and Christians, there is a strip club in Boulder that serves customers who are 18 and older. It’s called the Bustop, and it’s been providing entertainment (and employment) to CU students for many, many years. Get cash before you go; their ATMs have ridiculously high service charges.
The Hill is alive… with the sound of music! What? No Sound of Music fans out there? Screw you. Julie Andrews rocks, and I’ll punch anyone in the face who says otherwise.
ANYHOW, The Hill is the primary place where CU students congregate. If you get a chance, you’ll definitely want to check out the Fox Theatre, where all-ages shows are fun for everyone. The Hookah House is open late at night for your smoking pleasure. It probably won’t surprise you much that they have hookahs and the primo tobacco products that come along with them.
There are plenty of spots that will satisfy the late-night munchies. Jimmy John’s is open until the wee hours of the morning, along with Abo’s, Cosmo’s and Boulder Baked. Illegal Pete’s serves up giant burritos that are the size of a small baby but taste much better. And Half Fast Subs might just have the best sandwich selection in the country. They have also been known to feature local bands from time to time.
And of course, if you run out of options, there’s always the Denny’s in South Boulder, where you can watch the wait staff argue with crazy people who are off their meds about whether or not the pancakes were made by aliens from the planet Zykon. Good times, good times.
Abo's Pizza, various locations, www.abospizza.com.
Boulder Baked, 1911 Broadway, 303-444-4999.
Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., 303-786-7030.
The Bustop, 4871 Broadway St., 303-440-3911.
Cosmo's Pizza, 1325 Broadway, 303 447-3278, and 659 30th St., 303 447-3278.
Denny’s, 2905 Baseline Rd., 303-447-0080.
Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., 303-443-3399.
Half Fast Subs, 1215 13th St., 303-449-0404.
Hookah House, 1325 Broadway # 215, 303-444-0804.
Illegal Pete's, 1320 College Ave., 303-444-3055, and 1447 Pearl St., 303-440-3955.
Jimmy John's, 1125 13th St., 303-447-3200.
Laughing Goat, 1709 Pearl St., 303-440-4628.
Rock N Soul Cafe, 5290 Arapahoe Ave., Suite 1, 303-443-5108.
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