Friday, September 7, 2007
Steamboat Springs I've only been in Steamboat since June. Before Sunday's closing, my only familiarity with Dos Amigos in Ski Time Square came from writing articles about its impending closure. I won't pretend for a second to be wistful about it. But I will say this: My first and only night at Dos Amigos was a hell of a lot of fun.
I was hesitant at first. Throughout the day I heard a lot of people talk about going, and I figured the place would be a crowded, sweaty mess from wall-to-wall. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived sometime after 11 p.m. It was comfortably crowded, with people socializing both inside and out, and the second story of the large restaurant and bar wasn't even in use.
Getting a drink was only somewhat difficult because the bartenders seemed to be living up their last night more than anyone. And you also had to settle for whatever the bar had left in stock. But for me, those were both small sacrifices to make to enjoy one of the best atmospheres I've experienced in three months.
A night out in Steamboat so often involves as much traveling as revelry, with people unendingly unsatisfied and hopping from bar to bar. It was nice Sunday to be somewhere where no one was second-guessing the venue and people were content to soak up their last opportunity to enjoy a Steamboat icon.
The closure also provided a common ground, and the patrons present constituted a wonderful cross-section of the community. Steamboat Springs City Councilman Paul Strong attended, and told how one of his first jobs in town was at Dos Amigos. Those standing nearby teased Strong by calling him "chip boy," which he took with good humor. Strong said being a chip boy was the best job in Steamboat, and he enjoyed seeing many of his former coworkers Sunday night.
"It was bittersweet," Strong said. "It was a lot of fun to see a lot of people I hadn't seen in a long time in the place I knew them. But it was sad knowing it was the last time we would be there together."
Strong said he intended to stay until last call, but was "too tired and too old." I barely made it myself, but was glad I did. The bartenders made the call they've made so many times before, but the looks on their faces showed they knew it was for real this time.