The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Pub Crawl

Much ado has been made recently about the merits of financial stimulus packages. So we started our own. At 6 p.m. on April 3, 2009, after days of planning, research, and route scheduling (after all we are Grinnellians), a group of intrepid Grinnell students headed downtown to the first of 13 bars. The idea was to go to every bar within 10 miles of Grinnell, necessitating eight straight hours of debauchery, rural investment and, for two of us (Kevin Svendsen ’10, Virginia Andersen ’10), designated driving. Accompanying us on our journey were: Eric Nost ’09, Aru Singh ’09, Neal Wepking ’10, Jacob Gjesdahl ’10, Caitlin Vaughan ’10 and Nat Zorach ’10.

Voodoo Lounge 2/5
The decor and schedule of bands matched the reputation of New Orleans, though it was a little too clean. Their beer and liquor selection was comparable to most Iowa bars, but with prices closer to that of the Big Easy. The atmosphere strove for urban-hip, but needed work. This is best represented by the candle at our table. Classy, yet fake; it was battery-powered.

Lonnski's Bar and Restaurant - Ben Brewer
Lonnski's Bar and Restaurant - Ben Brewer
Lonnski’s 4/5
Cheap beer—$3 pints—and good food. You all know the drill.

The Depot Crossing - Ben Brewer
The Depot Crossing - Ben Brewer
The Depot 3/5
A place with pitchers, professors and real candles made this Grinnell standard noteworthy.

State Street 3/5
It was basically like A&M, replete with odd paraphernalia, but with booze. You could probably live here—drink late into the night and roll over to A&M for the perfect cure to a hangover. This was the one bar we were a little tempted to see more of, not only because of the aforementioned doubleheader, but also because of the karaoke—the guy who kicked the karaoke off did an epic rendition of a Johnny Cash song.
Pour House, Malcom 3.5/5
We were slightly losing our buzz since it took us 15 minutes to get here. The exterior had all the appeal of a high class warehouse. However, the interior was truly a bastion of rural culture. Just Budweiser, cheap bar food, pool tables, and cash only. Plus the historic black and white photographs, deep fried food, and baby in the bar made us feel more patriotic every minute we spent there.

Sidetracks, Kellogg .5/5
Upon entry, nearly every member of the establishment looked over to us in momentary silence. Clearly they were unused to new customers. The bartender immediately checked all of our I.Ds, and forced the non-drinking people to sit separately from the drinking folk—an unorthodox, and some would say, dickish move. However, they had a really cool pitcher with ice on the side, which kept the beer cold. A guy at the bar told us that the people at the bar up the street, our next destination, were not cool because they kicked him out for smelling like weed. A couple of men who could easily have been our fathers creepily checked out the women in our group, heralding our departure.

RJ’s Bar and Grill, Kellogg 5/5
The best place we visited, hands down. Unlike Sidetracks, we received a friendly greeting from the patrons of RJ’s. Here we met Kellogg personalities like Duffy, a jovial gentleman wearing a Duff Beer hat. According to him, the bar down the street was a “sketchy drug place.” Duffy said he was worried about the increased police presence there. ”With all these police, I’m afraid to drive home from the bar, and it’s only two blocks away,” Duffy said. We considered staying until breakfast the following morning, served at 6 a.m., but decided, with extended goodbyes, to continue our quest.

Gilman Tap 2/5
The best thing about this place was the poster in the men’s room that read: “15 reasons why beer is better than women.” Included on this list were, “beer can always give good head,” “beer will never complain if you grab another one,” and “a beer is always wet.” At this point in our drunken travels, this artwork grabbed the majority of our attention and we missed out on anything else that could have been of interest. Clearly our journalistic rigor was eroding quickly.

9th Hole 2/5
“What the fuck are you guys doing here?” was the first welcome we received from a fellow patron. Undeterred, Neal still managed to strike up a conversation with our new drunken and slightly belligerent friend, finding out such facts as, “the only one that really loves me is my dog.” Still, the beer was decent (Fat Tire) and cheapish. In general, we didn’t really interact with anybody here­—we huddled together in our own corner, bemoaning our collective struggle to down the pitcher.

Eagles Club 2/5
We were psyched about this place. An online review we read earlier in the week stated among other things: “Great bar. Great old guys. Cheap beer. Don’t go if you are a stereotypical Grinnell hippie vegan. We don’t need your kind in here. Stay on campus or at least on your side of West St. However, if you are a college student that loves living right and being free, welcome. This is where the heroes congregate.” Instead of legendary Americans, we found a mostly empty bar. Perhaps the heroes must have turned in early that night. We don’t really remember much from the bar, but field notes indicate extreme support for Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Can’t You Smell That Smell?”

Gametime 3/5
This point in the night was akin to the point in which a marathon runner begins to feel their legs beginning to drop out beneath them. Still, we all drank a token amount. Neal’s notes are nearly incomprehensible, but we can glean some details from the historical record. They had Animal Planet on the lone TV, which was really cool.The man watching it truly seemed to care about biology. Luckily, the bartender was supportive of our quest and encouraged us get out of the bar early so that we could stumble across the highway to Rabbitt’s before closing time.

Rabbitt’s 2/5
The task of a historian is difficult. The task of a person reconstructing previous drunken adventures is monumental in comparison. For that reason, we will simply give the reader pieces of our raw notes, to let him/her best piece together what happened.
“80% more heavy metal than other bars.”
“Ooh! Cheap beer on Sundays.”
“On a scale from 1 to schwasty, we are at 27.”
“The pope says condiments do not prevent AIDS.”

Danish Maid Bakery - Ben Brewer
Danish Maid Bakery - Ben Brewer
Danish Maid 5/5
Every story deserves its own happy ending. After eating ketchup and mustard at Rabbitts, we raced over to the bakery to get the day’s first batch of baked goods. They were the best donuts we had ever eaten. The End.

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