There's a scene in the Blues Brothers where Jake, Elwood and the rest of the band are playing "Stand by Your Man" at Bob's Country Bunker. The camera pans across a bunch of loving couples holding each other, then comes to rest on a pathetic guy sitting alone, almost in tears, clutching a beer mug.
Well, that guy was me as I sat alone, drinking a bottle of Bud at the Trailside Saloon (10360 Colorado Boulevard in Thornton) a little after midnight on a recent Saturday night. Crispy Nelson, who looks a bit like Willie Nelson with his white beard and ponytail, was playing country songs with his band, while three couples slow-danced under a disco ball to George Strait's "I Cross My Heart" and a few other couples sat at tables in front of the dance floor.
With ten minutes to spare before last call, a middle-aged blonde walked in and asked how much a shot of Tuaca would cost. She just wanted one shot before going home, she said. The bartender told her that Tuaca had just gone up to something like fifty bucks a case, so the bar had raised the price of a shot to $4.50.
"Will you take change?" the woman asked.
"As long as it's quarters," the bartender answered.
The blonde dropped a pile of coins on the bar and started separating out the quarters. Turned out she had enough change to get a bottle of Bud Light, too. She downed the shot and started working on the bottle while texting someone on her phone — or at least she looked like she was texting someone.
Meanwhile, Nelson's band had started packing up. To appease the dozen or so folks left, he did a solo version of the Eagles' "Tequila Sunrise" on twelve-string. Instead of leaving, I stuck around for another beer. And even though the place depressed me, in some bizarre way, it was also comforting.
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I went outside to the patio, took a look at the horseshoe pits and the cool view of what might have been Commerce City in the distance. By the time I got back inside, a twenty-something guy was chatting up a pair of forty-something women, and from the look of things, the dude was probably going home with one of them. At least someone wasn't going to leave there with the blues.
Club scout: On May 31, all of the Tavern restaurants will kick off Acoustic Sundays on their patios. From 3 to 6 p.m. every Sunday through August 30, Tavern Uptown (538 East 17th Avenue), Tavern Downtown (1949 Market Street), Tavern Lowry (7401 East First Avenue), Tavern Tech Center (5336 DTC Boulevard, Greenwood Village) and Tavern Wash Park (1066 South Gaylord Street) will be bringing in acoustic musicians.
The Lure Lounge (1434 Blake Street) just kicked off a new industry night on Tuesdays dubbed the Party, with an unlimited open bar and complimentary hors d'oeuvre from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. for $20 with RSVP or $25 at the door. There's also a bottomless bottle-service upgrade for $50 per table, but that involves a five-person maximum per table and reservations.
Finally, as part of Bacardi's B-Live Series, Beta will be bringing in superstar DJs AM and Jazzy Jeff on Wednesday, June 3, when people will also get the chance to create their own Bacardi cocktails with the help of a mixologist. Tickets are free for anyone 21 and up with registration on www.bacardi.com/blive.