When you live in Las Vegas, you tend to take some things for granted. Like having 24-hour access to world class dining and entertainment. The idea of “last call” is completely foreign to us. But on a recent trip to Texas, I ran in to something I had never had to deal with before; a dry county.
I am a big fan of several bands who frequently play in Texas. So as soon as we booked our trip, the next thing I did was check the tour schedules for the bands. At first I was thrilled when I found out all but one of the bands was playing in Texas the week I would be there. But then geography class came rushing back and I realized that “in Texas” didn't mean “close to where I will be in Texas.” Luckily, Mickey and the Motorcars were going to be playing in Denton which was only 90 minutes away. So we headed out early and made our way to the Rockin Rodeo.
After stopping for some awesome BBQ at Rudy's, we made our way to the bar, arriving at 8:00 exactly. The sign says the doors open at 8, and I'm surprised to find there is nobody there. The doors are locked and we have to wait about 10 minutes for somebody to finally open them.
We are greeted by the cashier. She asks for our IDs and $10 for the cover charge. Todd is first to hand her his ID. She swipes it in a machine, prints out a receipt and asks Todd to fill in his name, address and phone number. As he is filling it out, it dawns on him to ask, since we are paying cash, why would she need this information. She goes on to explain the following:
“This is a dry county, so in order for us to be able to sell alcohol, we are designated as a private club and to enter you need to become a member.”
OK, this isn't the first time I have seen places bend rules to fit their needs. Hell, we have laws in Vegas that say you can't smoke in places that serve food, but I know a dozen places where you could still ask your waitress for an ashtray. Even still, I found it entertaining that they were dancing their way through this loophole.
We were probably the only people in the club for the next 20-30 minutes. It finally started to fill up an hour or so later, and the opening band hit the stage. We noticed that several of the patrons had writing on the back of their hands. In big black marker it said “X-18”. We found out that the club isn't restrict to 21 and over. People who are “of age” get a fluorescent green wristbands that let's the bartender know it's cool to sell you beer. While the youngsters get a marking that will last through a week of showers. I had to laugh when I saw one of these under-aged guys drinking a beer using the hand with the huge marking. I would think he would want to stuff that hand I'm his pocket while drinking the beer to keep from getting thrown out…
One other oddity about the club were the restrooms. I have been to sporting events were the restrooms have a trough that dudes line up at to take a leak shoulder-to-shoulder. But, if a place goes to the trouble to install urinals, I have become accustomed to having dividers between them. Not here.
The show was great and the place, oddities and all, was really pretty cool. I could definitely see myself going to another show there. Why not, I am already a member!