It’s funny how New York warps your perspective of bars. On Friday night in Pueblo, Colorado, my friends and I went to a bar called Phil’s Radiator Service.
You can probably guess that it’s a car-repair-shop-turned-bar. Much like dive bars I know here, it has character, cheap drinks, and a pool table. It also still has the garage doors, concrete floors, only a couple tables, and graffiti on the walls. Its bartenders are young and hip, and roaming the bar is a dog named Charlie that all the regulars seem to know. He is, without a doubt, the friendliest dog I have ever met.
In New York City, this would be called “an awesome hipster dive bar.” But in Pueblo, things are obviously different. Whenever I mentioned this place to someone in Pueblo the next day, a look of disgust came across their faces. “Ew,” they groan. “Who would go there?”
From a New York perspective, who wouldn’t go there? It was $4 all-you-can-drink from 10 to midnight (and the bars close at 2, so that’s pretty much prime time). Even regular drink prices keep my wallet full (at $4.50 for an Irish Car Bomb, I would buy one for everyone in the bar). And it has a massive beer garden that practically occupies half the block. How is this not the most awesome bar ever?
So if you ever find yourself in Pueblo, Colorado, stop by Phil’s at the corner of Union Avenue and C Street. And if you ever find yourself in Pueblo, Colorado, I’m sorry.
Update: Citizens of Pueblo may have good reason to think less of Phil’s. Shots were fired in the beer garden earlier this year. But come on, we’re hardened New Yorkers. We walk the mean streets of the city. A few errant gunshots don’t scare us… especially not for cheap drinks!