By Gretchen Kurtz
By Mark Antonation
By Cafe Society
By Kristin Pazulski
By Chris Utterback
By Cafe Society
By Jamie Swinnerton
By Jamie Swinnerton
Now, at 96 hours post-drunk, we have located the missing members of the Institute of Drinking Studies and pieced together most of what happened the other night. It started with the Head of Drinking Regrets and myself planning a simple evening of movies and sports on TV, with maybe a couple of beers. Within two hours of finalizing this plan, though, we'd been joined by at least ten other people and the venue had moved from my couch to the Cherry Creek Grill (184 Steele Street). As the Head of Drinking Regrets later summed things up: "I don't know what's happening, but our movie nights are getting out of control."
We chose the Cherry Creek Grill because it has excellent food and the drink possibilities include Greyhounds made with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. It's also a very nice establishment that always has a good crowd of attractive women -- as well as older men who hit on them. I think the younger women come here after a long day slaving under the hot lights of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, hoping to find the ultimate bargain; the men come hoping that the women will be exhausted from their shopping frenzy and thus be easy pickings. This place is really a throwback to the swinging '80s, when singles bars were all the rage.
Unfortunately for the Grill's staff and management, not to mention the older men, the Executive Council of the Institute had experienced a very hellish week, and after a few Greyhounds, our behavior was about what you'd expect. We made several comments about the older men that offended them but absolutely killed with the women. Most of these men (they were definitely not guys) should have worn targets on their foreheads, singling them out for direct hits of lethal sarcasm. Their biggest problem: They think nice clothes and jewelry can overcome basic deficiencies. But no males, not even men, should wear jewelry more ostentatious than a ring or a nice watch. Gold chains weren't cool even when I was in high school, and bracelets are only acceptable if your last name is "Soprano," they're part of your parole stipulations or you have a major medical problem. The nicest silk suit and those pseudo-bowling shoes that are inexplicably fashionable aren't enough to draw attention away from an eight-strand comb-over that makes a man look like he has some sort of symbiotic relationship with a daddy long-legs.
184 Steele St.
Denver, CO 80203
Region: Central Denver
Our enthusiastic hilarity was probably what drew the attention of the Secret Service. Apparently the Cherry Creek Grill is a hotbed of political dissent that warrants the presence of at least one special agent. This man looked just like all the other men there, except for the earpiece with the coiled cord stuck down the back of his shirt. A normal guy would've gotten through the work night listening to sports or "Loveline," but the special agent was on the alert and obviously didn't appreciate our very presence in a place where older men should be able to accost younger women in peace. He lurked near the large rotisserie behind the bar that slowly roasted a thousand pounds of chicken (even though most of us do not go to restaurants to see how our food is prepared). He undoubtedly would have loved to skewer every one of us and roast us until we told him we were communists. Instead, when he couldn't take it any more, he came over and told us to "hold it down."
As any guy knows, this is the modern-day equivalent of slapping a guy in the face with a leather gauntlet. Nothing encourages bad behavior more efficiently than telling a guy to "hold it down" in the middle of a loud, crowded bar. Our decibel level instantly increased to "F-16 afterburner," and we started making fun of the special agent instead of the comb-over men, holding a finger in our ear while talking into our watch or cuff link. This went over as well as a Gary Barnett football camp.
After a brief respite in the men's room, I returned to learn that we'd been "cut off." Being "cut off" was bad enough, but not being a factor in the special agent's final decision was humiliating.
I know people who've been "cut off" at the Cherry Creek Grill. They're always younger guys who got more numbers from the vast array of attractive women than all the rest of the older men in the bar combined. I think that's why this establishment has recruited the Secret Service: Without a large federal intervention, the Cherry Creek constipation typified by this place might be in jeopardy.
If you can appear cowed by the establishment, at least for a little while, by all means sneak in and covertly disrupt the efforts of the men who call the Cherry Creek Grill home. But if, like us, you're incapable of putting on airs and demand of yourself complete honesty -- and inebriation -- you can join us at the Institute's next movie night.