By Brady Antonelli
At 21 you can drink, and with that birthday comes a challenge of taste and character. A bar is not just an establishment that sells alcohol — every single one has a personality.
Music, clientele, drinks, prices, even the lighting can come into play when determining the agreeability of a pub. Everything is weighted differently for different people.
For Mc Miller ’18, the tangible aspects of a bar build up to a more relaxed feel.
“I like a bar with a good atmosphere, maybe some table games, where you can kind of hang out and have a conversation with your friends,” Miller said. “But generally speaking I like an energetic but mellow bar.”
For Lewis & Clark students, options for nearby bars are limited. Downtown is a Pioneer Express ride away, but if you stay out past 1 a.m., you’re held at the mercy of Uber. So if you’re on campus, the obvious solution is Tryon Creek Grill & Sports Bar. They also have specials every day, like 50 cent wings on Wednesday and $2.75 domestic drafts for happy hour, so it won’t break the bank. It has a pool table, darts and trivia night on Tuesdays.
“I like a cheap beer,” Erik Dohe ’18 said. “But I’m willing to compromise for sports.”
Tryon Creek specializes not only in food and drink, but entertainment. Everything down to the slot machines in the corner, sports memorabilia on the walls and the lighting make it an inviting bar for an LC student.
It’s a fun bar, but it can be a little awkward on a Friday night when the middle-aged crowd flocks in from work. There forms a fairly obvious atmospheric rift between the college students and the older patrons that makes it less socially accessible for an LC student. The general consensus is that the bar overall is simply good.
“Three and a half stars, probably,” Miller said. “There’s nothing remarkable about Tryon specifically, but it’s ours. It’s mellow enough, the beer is good enough and the food is good enough.”
The less well-known option (partly because it does not even show up on Google when you search for bars in the area) is the Crab Bowl. The downstairs area is full of church pews, tools and planks of wood. When you walk upstairs, the banister may be half-cleaned and the spare couch may be partially in the way. Upon meeting the owner, Victor Mosso, however, you’ll realize that the apparent disorder is because the bar is a work in progress.
“I put a lot of work in here to make it the best bar possible,” Mosso said. “But I want it to be a successful business so that you’ll want to come back.”
Most recently, Mosso’s work has manifested itself as refinished entry door and new handmade tables for the bar level. The Crab Bowl allows guests to control the music, has karaoke on hand and is rarely as busy as Tryon Creek, so every night feels like your own private bar. The lighting is on the dimmer side, but it makes the space more comfortable rather than dungeon-esque. Because of its smaller size and layout, the service is much more personal and Mosso is always quick to oblige a request. The prices are also exceptionally low.
While Tryon Creek Grill & Sports Bar has all the bells and whistles, the Crab Bowl has soul and character that can only come from somebody toiling over making it what it is. It has some scratches and dents, but they all have a story. The Crab Bowl is the kind of place where you can host a birthday party or just stop by for a beer, and either way you don’t feel out of place.
In the end, it depends on what you’re looking for in a bar. If you want an atmosphere catered to games and sports with a few friends, Tryon Creek has you covered. If you want a place that allows you to cultivate your own atmosphere, the Crab Bowl may be the bar for you.