Bidding adieu to the Blind Tiger

Now what will separate church and state?

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Blind Tiger officially closed Sat. Jan. 23
  • Blind Tiger officially closed Sat. Jan. 23

My boyfriend paced anxiously outside our bedroom Saturday night as I sat at my vanity, applying a final dusting of shimmer to my cheeks. A steady stream of “Are you ready?” and “How much longer?” filtered through the air while I primed myself for an evening out. I would have been content to read about the final night at the Blind Tiger but my boyfriend, Daniel, admitted that he would have a serious case of FOMO unless we stopped by for at least one last drink. So we bundled up, conscious that there were only a few more hours until the final final last call.

Surprisingly, we met no line of people awaiting entry in the frigid temps outside the Tiger. Inside, we understood why. It was crowded. Like, I-feel-like-I'm-being-frisked-by-20-people-at-once crowded. 

We slinked and nudged our way to the bar, polite at first — aggressive at last — and waited 15 minutes before anyone even looked our way. I finally placed our order — three PBRs. The bartender opened the fridge and rather than produce individual cans, dropped a cardboard box on the bar, and with a meaningful look, removed the last three beers from within and placed them heavily on the counter. It dawned on my party that we had just bought possibly the last PBRs ever from the Blind Tiger. Or at least it seemed that way. We vowed this would be our story if anyone asked. 

The band played familiar tunes from the mid-'90s, to which the 30-something-year-old girl beside me annoyingly head-banged along. Former frat types struggled to hoist their girls into the air so they could snag a letter from a sparkly banner which hung above the bar; a souvenir from the evening which may have originally read, “Happy New Year,” but it’s impossible to say because so many letters were missing.

To avoid gasping for air, we squeezed our way through the masses, seeking refuge on the patio. Another 50 people or so converged around one weak heat lamp. Snippets of conversation included, “I mean they know me here, it’s been what, 15 years…,” and, “After so-and-so’s wedding, we came here and got totally...”

In the spirit of the evening, Daniel offered up his fondest Blind Tiger memory: something about getting caught underage drinking and scaling the far wall outside to escape. I nursed my PBR and reflected on my own special memory of a date at the Tiger, and the liquid courage-fueled first kiss that followed. Ah, sweet nostalgia.

Returning indoors produced a certain level of discomfort. Indiscriminate brushing of crotches seemed unavoidable, and the crush of patrons around the bar was now five rows thick. With one last quickly snapped selfie, we chugged our drinks, glanced around to wave goodbye to anyone we might recognize, and tromped our way back into the night. The Griffon has a new dartboard, after all.


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