Getting "the look" from regulars at the Rockette Tavern

I've gotten used to walking into places and getting that look from regulars. You know, the "Who the fuck are you and what the hell are you doing in our bar?" look. It used to make me a bit nervous, since it felt like I was walking into a party by myself, but I've gotten to the point where I actually kind of like it. Hell, it can even be exciting.

As I walk through the door of the Rockette Tavern (10006 West 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge) I get that look from five regulars. At least, I assume they're regulars, since regulars always seem to cluster together at one part of the bar, where they chat with the bartender. I know where these guys are coming from: I've been there, too. I've had my favorite bars and felt very protective of them, sizing up newbies and scowling if they didn't seem worthy.

When I stumbled into the Paradox Lounge (3467 South Broadway, Englewood) a few months ago, I got that look from a few people — but was soon welcomed by a bunch of tooth-impaired regulars. And last year, when I stopped by Crown Hill Taphouse (10151 West 26th Avenue, Wheat Ridge) soon after it opened, I got the cold shoulder at first, but soon was talking with some cool folks. On my way home from Crown Hill, I passed the Rockette, was intrigued by its sign and made a mental note to return some day.

Today is that day. I take a seat in the middle of the bar. I've found that it's best to stay away from the regulars in the beginning, It's not that I don't want to talk these folks, but I've learned that they like to initiate any conversations. And it's also kind of entertaining to keep them guessing, to be some mysterious stranger who's invaded their space.

A few stools down, a blonde gal is singing along to country on the jukebox. When she isn't singing, she's talking really loud, telling anyone who's listening that she didn't win the pool game last night because she wasn't playing with her own cue, which I'm pretty sure she says weighs 21 ounces. I get the feeling she's good with other sticks, too.

I order a PBR. The bartender asks, "A big one?" Always take the big one, I say to myself, to show what a man you are — even though the mug of PBR is almost as big as a pitcher. At the same time, I'm thinking about the Captain in Apocalypse Now after his encounter with the tiger and how he kept telling himself, "Never get out of the boat." It sometimes helps to look a tiny bit insane in joints like this.

I keep eyeing the goalie's hockey stick above the bar, figuring out the fastest way to grab it if things get hairy. But then again, a pool cue would also do the trick.


Club scout: This weekend, La Bohéme Gentlemen's Cabaret (1443 Stout Street) is throwing a huge, fifth anniversary party with an Asian theme. On Thursday, August 7, the club turns into a Macau-style casino with games of pai gow and fan-tan, and some lovelies handling the dealing duties. Asian porn stars Nautica Thorn, Gianna Lynn and Teanna Kai will do two shows on Friday, August 8, and make appearances on Saturday as well. And if that isn't enough, there will be $5 drink specials all weekend.

Since 8-08-08 won't come around for another thousand years or so, the folks at Electric Cowboy (8811 Harlan Street, Westminster) are throwing a party in the date's honor on Friday, August 8 — and hey, they'll be giving away Tuaca. The club also hosts a model search competition on Fridays; three winners a week get cash prizes and a chance to get featured in an international swimsuit calendar or a trip to Runaway Bay, Jamaica. The finals will be held at the club on August 22. The Loft (821 22nd Street) recently opened a patio and kicked off Friday happy hours that start at 5 p.m. Look for two-for-one top-shelf drink specials (except shots and martinis) until 8 p.m., other two-for-one specials until 9 p.m. and DJ Chief Rocka on the decks.

 
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