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A birthday bar crawl for DVC students

The+Old+Hangout+next+to+Todos+Santos+Plaza+in+downtown+Concord.
The Old Hangout next to Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord.

The Old Hangout next to Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord.

Danny Yoeono

Danny Yoeono

The Old Hangout next to Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord.

Danny Yoeono, Inquirer Staff

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The biggest highlight of turning 21 is finally being able to get into a bar. Why not celebrate while drinking yourself silly by walking, and eventually crawling, from bar to bar, performing alcohol induced tasks along the way while exploring establishments near campus.

Diablo Valley College currently has no established bar crawl, but the tradition begins now.

With no set bar crawl, bartenders and bar patrons will generally not be as helpful as in traditional college towns. So, the DVC bar crawl will focus on the atmosphere of the places near campus, discovering your favorite drink, and your least, learning to socialize, and finding what the big deal is about all the places you were not allowed into before.

First stop is the little known Tavern on the Greens on Vine Hill Drive. This bar sits on a once lush golf course. Those glory days are gone however the views here are still worth seeing while sipping a draft beer at sunset.

In nearby downtown Martinez you’ll find four full bars, all within walking distance of each other on Ferry Street. A bar crawlers dream. Start at Sunflower Garden, a Chinese restaurant with excellent walnut prawns. Get a shot of baijiu, also known as Chinese vodka.

Walk a block south to Whiskey Lane. Intentionally call it College Lane (its previous title) and bask in the glory of your local trivia knowledge while everyone in the bar corrects you, except the old timers. Have a Jägerbomb while you’re at it.

Continue south and you’ll find Barrel Aged, the newest and swankiest bar on the block. Branch out and order a Moscow Mule or Sidecar and enjoy the eccentric, vintage decor while catching a live musical performance.

To finalize the Ferry Street experience, head to Nu-Rays, the textbook definition of a dive bar. Order an overly sweet martini, like the blackberry lemon drop, and since you’re already taking chances, a lotto ticket. If you aren’t lucky enough to win big you might hit the jackpot with a crock pot of homemade spaghetti. Carb up while pondering why Martinez is the (disputed) birthplace of the Martini, but doesn’t have a bar that capitalizes on it.

Hydrate while Ubering to Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord.

Locate Hop Grenade on Salvio Street and try not to get overwhelmed by their beer selection. Drink your first expensive beer that comes in a short stem wine glass. Pretend to notice the difference between hops and malts, a sour or a gose, then race your friends to see who can finish first. You just drank a $12, eight ounce pour in less than 30 seconds. Congratulations.

Next up is La Piñata 6 on Willow Pass Rd. They are known for an extensive variety of tequilas, but because you’re a broke-ass college student settle for two shots of the cheap stuff. Master the art of taking a tequila shot. Lick the back of your hand to adhere the salt. Lick again, administer the shot, then immediately suck on the lime. Don’t let your friends punk you by slightly unscrewing the cap to the salt shaker and making a big mess. If they haven’t kicked you out already get a margarita with a tiny Corona sticking out of it.

You are on a roll. Literally, stop rolling. Walk straight, it’s the final stretch.

The Office, a cleverly named bar across the street from Park-and-Shop on Willow Pass Road, has karaoke every Wed. and  Sat. night. Take your chances on the mic, but only to song from your birth year.

Discover your new favorite bar at The Old Hangout on Concord Avenue. The whole place has been recently remodeled making it a great place to use the restroom. Ask if the owner Kevin is around. If he is, tell him you are making history tonight as one of the first to take on the DVC bar crawl. Then get down on the new dance floor.

End the night where you started, back near DVC, at Giant Chef, a late night diner on Golf Club Road. Sop up the copious amounts of alcohol you’ve consumed with a bacon cheeseburger. Then have some birthday pie.

The legal purchase of alcohol is not the only benchmark of becoming 21. You can buy cigarettes…again.  You can gamble, at the nearby California Grand Casino. But mostly it is your ticket into the myriad of once forbidden bars.

 An individual may not necessarily imbibe but bars can still offer an enjoyable experience. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the in and outs of bar culture as college friends will surely be meeting up after classes, to watch games, and celebrate milestones in bar like places and you surely won’t want to miss out.

 

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A birthday bar crawl for DVC students