Rundown of the crawl

Syracuse University students were some of the many participants in the Cuse Crawl, the city's first-ever bar crawl, Friday night.

On Friday, Sept. 16, Armory Square in downtown Syracuse had its first-ever bar crawl, sponsored by the National Bar Crawl Association. The $10 ticket got drink-guzzlers a wristband, beer mug, T-shirt and free cover charges at the 16 participating bars.

Even before the event started at 8 p.m., students huddled around the bus stop on College Place, waiting for the Connective Corridor to take us downtown. I decided the best way to get the ultimate experience, was to, well, attempt to get to every bar, and document the night minute-by-minute.

7:55 p.m. Students lulling around College Place. For a weekend in September, it’s freezing. Everyone’s pacing back and forth and the bus is late -- surprise! This bar crawl is Pete DePasquale's first American bar crawl. The senior art education and printmaking major has been to two others before this, but in Europe. He said he’s excited to crawl without having to switch languages between conversations.

8:06 p.m. Finally on the bus. It’s packed. Usually only art students going to the Warehouse use the Connective Corridor bus, so even the bus driver seems surprised to have so many passengers. Senior public policy and economics student Bonnie Kong tells me this is her first bar crawl ever. She heard about this event through another friend, and decided to jump on the bandwagon once she saw the Facebook event. She said she thinks this is a great way to publicize the use of the Connective Corridor -- great marketing SU!

8:13 p.m. Our bus finally arrives in Armory Square and our bus driver lets us out right in front of the HSBC Bank (in case anyone needs extra cash). No one is sure where to go, so we just follow the crowd. Everyone trails behind one another like ants.

8:16 p.m. The line for wristbands is long, but everyone seems overly enthusiastic. A group of girls wearing neon pink shirts that say “Cuse! Bar Crawl!” giggle outside Clinton St. Pub. We get our wristbands and “mug.” Okay – definitely not a real mug, just a plastic cup. Disappointed.

8:20 p.m. We’ve entered our first bar: Clinton St. Pub. There are $2 well drinks, $2.50 Bud Lights and $1 shots. Not bad. The crowd is still trickling in. There’s a mix of college students and young, working yuppies.

8:25 p.m. Five minutes later, Clinton St. Pub is now a no-go. The “one dollar” shots look like half-shots with tiny cups from the hospital.

8:29 p.m. We make our way into Al’s Wine and Whiskey bar. A swinging chandelier welcomes us and I already feel Al’s is a major upgrade from Clinton. The bartender is wearing a suit and tie and my friends tell me the bar smells like a sterilized pool, but in a good way. I’m confused; I say it’s a musky wood smell. They nod in agreement.

8:30 p.m. It takes forever to get drinks here at Al’s, and we’ve been craving for a pitcher of Sangria ($1 off anything in the bar). We decide it’s not worth the trouble if we have to wait for another fifteen minutes.

8:35 p.m. We make our way to Syracuse SUDS for $1 well drinks. Before we make it in, two underage students are turned away and the bouncer asks us for three forms of ID. Disgruntled, we all pull out our credit cards. The bouncer seems unconvinced -- we are just about to leave when he gives us the OK. Finally.

9:20 p.m. One double-shot whiskey sour later, we decide SUDS is just a better, classier version of Chuck’s Cafe (a fine Marshall Street establishment for all of you underagers). The open space allows for groups to gather without feeling crowded (a conundrum that always occurs at Chuck’s). Before we decide to leave, we see photographers shimmying their way through the crowd; people are now on their A-game.

9:29 p.m. We end up at Empire Brewery. Probably our favorite bar of the night. A friend suggests their Deep Purple drink, which I conduced was just sparkling red wine and beer mixed together. The taste is surprising and intriguing, but I would stick with one of their microbrews next time. This is also Hannah Pimpis' first bar crawl with her friends. She came because she “likes seeing the debauchery in my fellow peers.” The senior film student has already been to four different bars in the past 2-and-a-half hours and twenty bucks have already gone down the drain. Not bad, considering.

10:16 p.m. Almost one hour later, I’ve managed to finish the rest of my Deep Purple. The weather has gotten chilly rapidly and we decide the trek to a bar further down wasn’t worth it. So we settle for PJ’s and their $3 Bud Light Limes. We run into a friend and decide to stay in line with him. Two ladies decide they want to beat us up. Scared and terrified, I hide behind the gaze of the bouncer for some added protection. The phrases “You hold this one, I’ll get the other” were exchanged. We slink into a booth and nurse our Bud Light Limes.

10:47 p.m. The bouncers at PJ’s decide to dim lights and that’s when people get rowdy. Girls in 5-inch heels are moving like noodles across the dance floor and guys are staring at them like vultures. There is also a couple wearing matching safari hats. I am confused.

10:56 p.m. Our friends tell us to come to Corner Bar because apparently everyone who goes to ‘Cuse is currently there. We manage to get past the two women who wanted to beat us up earlier and leave PJ’s. We run into senior graphic design student Cassia Brooks who says this Cuse Crawl is also her first American bar crawl.

11:31 p.m. It’s time to go to Daisy Dukes so we all trickle out of Corner Bar and their ridiculous bartenders who only chose to serve men. The atmosphere at Daisy’s is definitely the most inviting. We decide to hop into the restroom for some much-needed touch-up, only to be greeted by a kind woman handing out paper towels and dispensing our soaps. I find this a little bit odd –- at a bar, really? We say thank you and wish her wonderful night before making our way towards the bar.

11:44 p.m. My friends decide it’s not a bar crawl unless we all ride the famous Daisy Dukes’ bull. I graciously decline, telling them it’s better I stand back and observe. They plead but I don’t budge. My friend signs the waiver. He’s on … and three seconds later … he’s off. It was a good run.

12:15 p.m. Seems like everyone got the memo that Daisy Dukes was the bar to be. It is so crowded people are going outside for a breather. We decide this would be our last bar.

In the span of four hours on Friday night, I had: two Bud Light Limes, one whiskey sour and one rum and coke, spending a total of $14. I left Armory Square at 12:30 a.m., tired but accomplished. The 16-bar goal was an admirable feat but alas, I treated this crawl as a sprint, when I really should’ve approached it as a marathon.


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