Meet Your City: Instead of Brunch

Venue for a dance party and happy hour

It’s an unpopular opinion, I know. But everything — from the overpriced meals that could be easily made at home, to the stomach-turning portmanteau itself — is irksome.

This isn’t really about brunch, but what this activity shares with various others: a trendy experience that typically tries too hard to be polished while failing to deliver half the fun that could be had if everyone allowed for more rough edges.

So, instead of fretting over whether or not the kids-these-days will be entertained without rows of nightclubs downtown or bi-weekly parades, we could look at what Hartford does have. Namely:

  • The Blind Pig is hosting a Cards Against Humanity tournament, with games on Tuesday nights. Just a little grittier than the standard trivia night. One drink/purchase minimum.
  • Ducks on the Ave, a bowling alley on Farmington Avenue, hosts live music on occasion. The Sparkomatics are playing on October 13th. On October 19th, there will be four musical performances. You can dance or bowl or just sit in the corner and drink one of those single-serving wine bottles. Free admission; you’ll pay something if you want to bowl.
  • Early Bird Social Club is basically a roving dance party for grown folks. These start earlier in the evening — the idea here being that people with real responsibilities probably do not feel like starting our evenings at or after 10 pm. These have been held at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Chango Rosa Tacos, Pratt Street, and Little River Restoratives. The next one is October 12 at The Dirt Salon. DJ Connie Carmona always plays stuff you can actually dance to. All free.
  • Over the summer, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza hosted a happy hour event every Thursday with music and cheap drinks. Wandering over to look at the Connecticut River beats staring at a television screen above the bar. Free.
  • Hartford Whisk(e)y Club is kind of a private club. Go ask around until you find someone who’ll invite you in. There’s a small fee that’s definitely less than what you would spend for more than one glass of hooch at a bar.

What should be added to this list?