The signs of campus drinking used to be best observed on Thursday nights when the old Den was open. When it closed, drunks leaving campus (or rez students finding rooms, err, their rooms) were often followed by trails of destruction. Did you ever wonder why those posts with the red signs are so bloody high now? It's because on Thursday nights, revellers would jump up and hang from the signs, bending them beyond recognition or turning them to ensure that lost wanderers would go the C-train station looking for the library. Since then, the university raised some of the signs much above 10 feet, way out of the reach of drunken Den-goers. Keeping this in mind, it's actually quite funny to observe the now 30-foot high signs. Other stories include the complete dismantling of a series of bricks supporting trees in front of the library and the unexplainable loss or movement of several heavy objects, including construction equipment.
Drinking lore on our beloved campus often begins with stories like these. Therefore it is the Gauntlet's great honour to describe the campus bars that form such stories and ensure that future revellers write their own drinking fables.
For a round of conspicuous campus alcohol consumption, nights can begin at the Kilkenny, a finely decorated Irish pub. Although the Kilkenny is large, the well-used, sun-facing patio is worth the trip when the rough Calgary weather permits. The only gripe I have against the Kilkenny are the unfriendly prices (at $4-$6.25 for a pint--well poured and with a good variety, at least), save for a worthy $2.25 Kokanee pint special on Thursdays. A strong menu and friendly service make this near-campus bar one of the better.
A druken hop, falling-down skip and a high-flying jump brings you to Moose McGuire's, a less elegant, but still convenient near-campus sports bar. If you go on a Sunday, you can argue about why Corona is a crappy beer while you order quintuple buckets of it at $15 a piece. McGuire's also dishes out free peanuts by the basketful from which the shells are to be tossed on the floor at your leisure. This isn't so bad for a starving student who'd rather spend their money on booze while eating peanuts for dinner. McGuire's menu sports a little less choice than the Kilkenny--but the Moose is still worth a visit for the comparatively cheaper prices. You're also more apt to bump into Dinos athletics promotions or kinesiology students at the Moose.
The third stop of our night was at the ill-fated Factory, located at the innocuously titled Days Inn. Dark, awkwardly shaped and just plain surreal, the Factory on a Sunday night is something that should be tried at least once, but perhaps never again. Go if you want to reminisce about your high school days to live covers of Pearl Jam and acoustic versions of Britney Spears' "One More Time."
Finally, our fourth stop is the stop that never really happened. As the new Den and Black Lounge lie under layers of construction dust, this story is missing its centerpiece. It's tough to say how the new Den will shape up--although it is safe to say that it will be nothing like its predecessor. Instead, the new Den will create some of its own stories--and yes, we at the Gauntlet still believe it should bear a different name than its parent bar. How are we to distinguish the stories we have between the new and the old, especially when there's already something to tell?
Let's put it this way. Besides the stolen glances you can get when the construction people go in and out, you should really call up the Students' Union if you want to see what the new bar is going to be like. We don't recommend stealing a peek at 2:00 a.m. Campus Security often disagrees with nosy tendencies.