[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. Few people will remember Score Sports Bar & Grill; it existed for a brief period spanning 2008 and 2009 at 21 N. Fourth Ave. W. in Downtown Duluth. The location is best known for Duluth Athletic Club Bar & Grill, but six different bar/restaurants occupied the space during a 15-year span at the turn of the millennium. Ol’ Slim paid a visit in April 2009 to file this report for the weekly Transistor.]
Considering the proximity to Duluth Police headquarters, not to mention the cops actually working right inside the door, it’s a bit surprising to see the sidewalk outside Score Bar slippery with a fine, fresh spray of urine, and littered with an array of beer cans. Then again, I’d bet that none of the kids sucking on Michelob Golden Light inside the place are attending the University of Minnesota Duluth on a scholarship.
And sure enough, as I walk in the door, some sorry tyke is leaning against the wall and mopping tears from his cheeks as one of Duluth’s finest writes him up. The crime undoubtedly has something to do with pulling out his trouser snake right there on Fourth Avenue West, which will be his claim to fame in the newspaper’s “Matters of Record” column, his greatest achievement before flunking out of business school, hopping into the 2009 Chevy Silverado his proud parents bought for him and driving back to Anoka or wherever the fuck sorry losers like this spring from.
I push through the crowd of his friends, all of whom are mumbling harshly into cell phones (I distinctively hear one of them utter the official motto of America’s Young Pussies: “so unfair”) and into the bar, which is full of guys exactly like the street pisser, along with all the victims they want to bang later, after they pass out.
Speaking of rape, I’m sure it’s obvious by now that I would normally rather be buttfucked with a pineapple than come into a place like this. But every now and then I like to try it out just to make sure my prejudices are in fact justified.
Score is a new bar in town, having opened in December, but it seems to have inherited the history of some of its predecessors. It’s in the space formerly occupied by the Duluth Athletic Club Bar & Grill, which closed last fall after someone clogged the shitter and flooded the place. Any of the guys here tonight look to me like they could be the culprit.
Score’s slogan, by the way, is “the ultimate experience.” And if the ultimate experience for you is going out on a Thursday night to surround yourself with a bigger bunch of douchelords and skankwads than the former regulars at the Tap Room, a more accurate slogan cannot be offered.
The first thing I notice inside Score tonight is the odor. It isn’t necessarily a bad odor, but it is fairly unpleasant and at first I wonder why they’ve chosen to pump this smell in. Then I realize that it’s probably the collective smell of all the colognes the people here are wearing. It isn’t deodorizer; it’s the smell of jackholes.
Score management does know its clientele, however, because the waitstaff is female, blonde and large-breasted, and they are placed at a high elevation relative to the drunks who surround them. One stands in front of a huge illuminated sheet of glass, dispensing cans of Michelob Golden Light for a buck apiece. The other trots back and forth on a small bar-top, pouring shots of red liquor into the eager mouths that present themselves. The effect is much like that of chumming sharks: The feeders stir further and further into a frenzy until they’re too stupid to know the prey from the bait.
It feels like I’ve died and gone to college. I’m certainly out of my element, at the very least. Usually I only go to bars where women wear socks. Tonight, I’m surrounded by heels and exposed toes. The only woman wearing socks is the aforementioned shot pourer, who is sporting knee-high white tubers as part of a referee uniform. I must say, it’s interesting that her idea of “refereeing” is to dump shots down the gullets of people who can’t perform simple bodily functions without getting a citation or putting someone out of business. That’s just part of “the ultimate experience,” I guess.
Before I feel obligated to intervene in any of the potential date-rape scenarios that are beginning to unfold here, I’ve decided it’s time to head up to First Street and see what’s going on at the old Pioneer Bar, which, after stints as Hero’s and Oly’s, is now called Live Downtown Bar. Upon arrival, I’m greeted by the smokers outside, one of whom instructs me to “go in there and get some fuckedupness.”
After what I’ve been through, I need it.
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