Part One: The Dude’s Guide to Pub Crawling
To best describe the thesis of a pub crawl I would quote the words of Primal Scream from their 1983 song entitled, “Loaded.”
“Just what is it that you want to do?
Well, we wanna be free, we wanna be free to do what we wanna do
And we wanna get loaded and we wanna have a good time
And that’s what we’re gonna do
We’re gonna have a good time, we’re gonna have a party.”
Before embarking on a drunken adventure, you’ll want to have a plan and know the rules in order to limit risk and injury. If you or anyone in your group is hurt or arrested, you will not have a good time and derail completion of the pub crawl.
The Dude’s Pub Crawl Rules are as follows:
1. Everyone has a good time.
2. Eat food, drink water.
3. Drink the same drink all night.
4. Start early
5. Always be polite, patient and generous.
Pub crawling is an endurance sport. The rules will ensure you make it to all the stops and avoid vomiting and drunk texting, among other social embarrassments. The first rule is the most important. Ensuring a good time takes effort and team work, so go over the plan with everyone before you start.
You must eat before or within the first three stops. Eating food will keep your stomach ph. balanced and regulate alcohol and blood sugar levels. Drinking water will prevent dehydration and a massive hangover. Drinking one type of drink is a pro tip. For example, 11 of the same drinks equals a fun time, but five jaegers, four tequilas and two fireballs equal a bad, vomit-filled time.
Start early, get stamped and avoid cover charges. By starting at 6 p.m. you’ll have six hours of drinking time — that’s roughly a bar every thirty minutes before last call at 12:45 a.m.
Remember, Utah’s drinking laws are archaic and severe, so to pull this off you’ve got to be polite, patient and generous. The bar employees are liable if they over-serve you, so if you are too drunk, they either wont allow you admission or will ask you to leave. Know your limits, say thank you, be grateful for the drink and be generous with tips — especially for the bouncers.
The last things you need for your pub crawl plan are supplies, a map and a budget.
Pub crawls can be expensive. Just do the math: 11 bars times at $5 a drink equals $55. Add $30 for cover charges, $25 for tips and $40 for Uber and Denny’s for a grand total of $150 per person.
Google Maps is excellent for creating a pub crawl map. Ogden’s Golden Mile is the map I created for my 36th birthday crawl. It shows the crawl order, directions and distance covered — all important details to have when you are drinking and unsure of where you are or where you might be going.
Spice up your crawl by planning with a theme such as Gatsby, Toga or 80s. You can also add challenges to your theme. For example, assign specific drinks and shots to each bar. For maximum effort, you can even create your own drunken fun map, such as the one for Ogden’s Golden Mile. Remember, everyone has to have a good time, including you, so the fun is only limited by imagination and the willingness to participate.
Part Two: The Quest for Old Crow
Based on a true story. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
This is a tale of a drunken birthday celebration gone right, the revival of Delta Tao Chi and the randomness that can happen in downtown Ogden.
It is worth noting that the Delta Tao Chi is an unofficial, unsanctioned fraternity, started in 2012 by The Dude.
It all began at the Lighthouse Lounge with Delta members Tim the Sorcerer, DeeDee and me, The Dude. DeeDee, having not survived her last attempt at the Golden Mile, was determined to complete the pub crawl and insisted we all have food before the second bar.
The food is amazing at the Lighthouse. You can even smoke and drink on the back patio. While we were still eating, we were joined by Ross “The Boss” Lacosslavich. Though penniless, he showed up to wish The Dude a happy birthday. The Dude paid his cover and bought him a drink.
After catching up with Ross, I was struck with an attitude of “the more the merrier” and devised a plan for Ross to earn his free ride on the Golden Mile. His price of admission involved consuming as many shots of Old Crow bourbon whiskey as possible along the crawl.
For those who have never drunk Old Crow, it’s akin to spraying hairspray in your mouth. We ordered two more drinks, tipped the bouncers for reentrance stamps, updated the Facebook event and began The Quest for Old Crow.
Half a block later, we arrived at the Historic Place. This is divyest dive bar on the Golden Mile, so do yourself a favor and request plastic cups for your drinks. Thanks to fifty-cent tequila night, it was a 15-minute wait to get our drinks.
It was the bartender’s first week, and she was working alone. She didn’t even know if they had Old Crow. We slammed our drinks and each left a $5 tip, and with a collective sense of relief, left for the next bar, Alleged.
Leaving Historic, we bumped into Hayden Christensen and, as newly formed group of five, headed to Alleged. It was still early enough that the second floor of the bar was empty, making this the perfect bar experience. Again, sadly there was no Old Crow.
We had shots of Fireball for my birthday and caught up for the first time since the final Delta Tao Chi house party August 2015.
After a quick jaunt across 25th, we arrived at the Kokomo Club. Kokomo is a cash-only bar, and is vaguely reminiscent of a biker bar. Unfortunately, there was no Old Crow.
DeeDee, with a firm point of the finger, reminded us all to start drinking water. Then while waiting for our drinks, Ross and Hayden challenged The Dude to a beer chug. The Dude was 36 years old and took that pint of Pabst down in four gulps like a champ, while Ross and Hayden, in their mid-twenties, took a full minute. For losing, Hayden had to buy the next round at the next bar on the Golden Mile, Brewski’s.
As Ogden’s most famous bar, Brewski’s is like the high school reunion you didn’t know you were attending. That being said, it’s still a great bar with an excellent staff, and you have to try their beer cheese. The bar is really two bars dubbed the light side and the dark side.
We opted for the dark side on our quest for Old Crow. Hayden ordered a round, inquired about the drink and was denied. We were emboldened to find a bar that served Old Crow and continued down the Golden Mile to our sixth stop.
The next bar was the City Club, or as I like to call it your father’s father’s bar, with its plush green carpet and old timey regulars. DeeDee and Tim immediately headed for the John and Yoko, and The Dude ponied up to the bar desperate for them to have Old Crow. For the sixth time, there was no Old Crow, so we toasted our drinks to the enduring drunken quest, and headed out the back door for a smoke break before continuing on.
With tobacco lingering in the air, our merry band headed toward D & R Spirits, the seventh bar on the Golden Mile. It had a biker vibe and allowed drinking and smoking out back. After the claustrophobic feel of City Club, D & R’s open floor space was a welcome refreshment. We ordered our drinks and found, once again, no Old Crow.
The next bar was the Lamplite Lounge, located halfway uphill between Washington Boulevard and Adams Avenue. This was the way station of the mile, so we conducted a Delta Tao Chi field sobriety test by saying “Ross ‘The Boss’ Lacosslavich” three times fast. Ross barely passed, but the rest of us sailed through.
The Lamplite allowed smoking and drinking on the deck, so we all lit up and made a bet over Old Crow. The winner picked the challenge and the loser paid the tab. The Lamplite didn’t have Old Crow, so The Dude lost the bet and had to drink a cascade of shots.
Let me note that a cascade is drinking multiple shots — in this case five in a row — and is illegal in Utah. We got around this by ordering single shots and waiting for the staff to leave before The Dude cascaded shots of Fireball.
Kamikaze’s was the the ninth bar and equalizer on the Golden Mile. DeeDee barely made it this bar the previous time. If you haven’t followed the rules, this bar will send you home. It has two bars: one is the old chapel side and the other is the dance karaoke side.
We ordered our first drinks from the chapel and headed over to the karaoke side. For the next 30 minutes, it was a barrage of free birthday drinks and drunken sing-a-longs but, tearfully, no Old Crow.
We left Kamikaze’s, heading onward to the last two stops on the Golden Mile while singing Queen’s “We Are the Champions” before arriving at the Funk n’ Dive and Harp & Hound.
The Funk n’ Dive had a speakeasy feel while the Harp & Hound had an old world pub feel. We found two other Deltas, The Dutchess and Flounder, and continued our drunken sing-a-longs, celebrating The Dude’s birthday, DeeDee’s first completion of the Golden Mile and Ross’s free night of drinking.
Noticing it was midnight and with only 45 minutes left before last call, I rallied the group into heading back to the Historic for one last-ditch attempt to complete the quest for Old Crow.
The Dude and Hayden were certain that the Historic had Old Crow and sped ahead of the group. Things had slowed down at the Historic, and the bartender had received help earlier in the night. Remembering us, she was excited to tell us she had, in fact, found a bottle of Old Crow. We high-fived just as the rest of the group entered the bar. I ordered Ross a double shot of Old Crow and the rest of us shots of Jameson, and we cheered to completing our quest for Old Crow on the Golden Mile.
After Ross was done puking, we boot n’ rallied at the Lighthouse for last call before Ubering to Denny’s and driving off into the sunrise.