Pimpin’ with Pil on a Thursday

By Kris Kotarski

Last week, some fool told me that the Den sucked. Time stopped. I had two choices.

a) Break his right ankle.

Advantages: Cries of pain would replace the Den bashing on blasphemous lips. Chicks dig assertiveness.

Disadvantages: Pending legal action.

b) Show him the error of his ways.

Advantages: This requires going to the Den…

Disadvantages: With him.

I chose b. I’m a lover, not a fighter.

We set off. Luckily, the Den was hoppin’ as usual. There was Pilsner on tap along with Guinness and Rickards Red. We had choice, glorious choice.

With wondrous multiplicity in mind, I started to explain that the Den is trying to perform three functions. It tries to be a club, a pub and a restaurant. It’s nearly flawless on two out of three.

The club is among the finest in Calgary. The dance floor is always full and the bar stars are your age. No 40-year-old cougars here, and no freaky old men either.

The pub, especially when the patio is open, is great as well. The cozy booths are great for conversation and the fireplace provides an intimate setting for young couples inclined to look long and deep into each other’s eyes.

The restaurant is where the Den needs improvement. Slow service is a typical complaint, but can be easily remedied by scheduling more servers. However, even if that never happens, the Den will still be a success.

Ultimately, what makes the Den so special is the atmosphere, regardless of its status as a pub, club or restaurant. The Den is a curious place. It’s an island of fun in an otherwise drab and dreary world. It brings out feelings and emotions usually forbidden to the typical University of Calgary student. Here students talk to each other–some even bold enough to engage complete strangers in conversation. It can be the beginning of a night on the town or the magnificent final destination. Here, you can vent after a midterm. You couldn’t at Max’s. Max’s smelled funny.

The Den’s music is great. They keep Sublime alive. Once, I heard Outkast and NOFX on the same night. Once, I thought I even heard Hendrix, but I’m not sure. I was busy enjoying the Pil.

The service is good too. What people must realize is that it’s not a restaurant. The low prices on the menu should be the first clue. It’s a bar that happens to serve food, it’s not the Olive Garden.

Ever been to Denny’s? The food prices are comparable but the service is better, you say. Well friend, try to get a pitcher of Rickards at Denny’s or try to dance. You will be arrested.

Back to my companion. Rather than listening to my monologues, he started gazing at the dance floor. A pretty girl caught his eye. Or was it a pretty boy? I can’t tell for sure… maybe it was both? The Den is full of them, you know.

Where else can you see beautiful people, Pil on tap, and table climbing becoming a sport?

Leave a comment