11 June 2009

The Zephyr Lounge

I've always liked the idea of time travel. Go back in time and right wrongs (like that time I lost the 5th grade city-wide spelling bee on the word 'detract'; I spelled 'detracked', what am I, a mind reader? That garbage is still under protest ) go find out who shot Kennedy, or maybe even jump ahead a couple years to see if Mr. A's is still the friendliest lounge in Denver, or if the Cubs ever win the pennant. Alas, time travel has been thus far in history relegated to the movies and television, despite all the hard work done by Mr. Einstein in laying the whole thing out for us with his Theory of Relativity. Think of The Theory of Relativity as Einstein saying, 'Look, time travel is possible, and here are some numbers and letters that prove it.' Nice tune, Al, but the common dude can't dance to it. Time travel is indeed possible - I experienced it for myself the other night at The Zephyr Lounge - and I'm going to tell you what color the velvet drapes are. The best part: You too can travel through time, if you are ok with only being able to go back to the year 1981. Here are five things you should know for your trip:

1. There are colored lights involved. You are bathed in blue light upon entering the vestibule at The Zephyr Lounge, your first sign that something is amiss. Passing through the vestibule, my intrepid party and I felt a strong pull, one that was telling us to belly up to the bar. I could have sworn there was a hint of High Karate in the air, though that could have been Jeff's deo. We followed our noses to the bar, probably about 10 seats long, and immediately swung around to survey the landscape. The patrons all appeared to be fairly worn out and easily pushing 50. Which brings me to the second thing you should know,

2. The people stuck in 1981 are old. Several of the hairstyles could very well have been found at a backyard barbecue at Archie Bunker's house. Glasses were big (is that in style again? I could be out of the loop) Five or six members of a band were jammed together at one end of the bar, and had people dancing in the aisles. Literally, as there really wasn't enough room for much of a dance floor. The gray hairs and odd floral-print shirts of the band, not to mention the caliber of music, indicated that this was a weekend hobby for most of the members. Regardless of the fact that the crowd loved the mix of oldies garbage,

3. The music sucks. Maybe we were there on a bad night, as I don't want to anger any of the Kim Carnes or Eddie Rabbitt fans out there, but my God. When you are packing for 1981, make sure you throw some ear plugs in with a change of underwears, just in case. The only thing I loved about the band was the fact that there were so many members (and the barroom was so small) that they blocked the entrance to the bathrooms, and at several points right in the middle of a song, some guy straight off of That's Incredible! would be fighting his way through the band trying to get to the john. And speaking of God, he was sitting opposite the band in his own booth. That brings me to item number 4,

4. You'll find God at The Zephyr. Not necessarily find him, but he'll be there... a fancy statue and some God related decor, wall hangings and such, anyways. I found the God corner to be a nice touch - something slightly disturbing while being oddly comforting at the same time. Which brings me to the final thing you should know,

5. The hospitality is fantastic. The Zephyr did a fine job of making those of us from not around 1981 feel comfortable. For starters, to save confusion, every bottle, can, and decanter in the place had a price tag on it, very clearly illustrating the cost of getting hammered in 1981. Quite useful! Worth mentioning as a sidebar is that one of the offerings that I enjoyed was Hamms in a can. It was a good accompaniment to time travel, as it tasted like it was from the 80's. More amenities: Need a smoke? Despite smokers probably being relegated to the newly refurbished (for 1981, this probably means that they just laid down some green Astroturf that isn't pock marked with cigarette burns) patio area, for all the puffers out there The Zephyr provides an old-school smokes dispenser with a sign announcing 'Yes it works!'. And finally, if you have one too many well-labeled beverages and find yourself in need of a place to crash, The Zephyr can help you out with that as well. That's right, head outside past the newly refurbished patio and you'll find yourself at The Zephyr's very own motor lodge. What more could a guy ask for? Fantasy suites. You'll have to see it to believe it.

In the end, the secret to time travel wasn't a fancy contraption, a worm hole, Einstein’s letters and numbers, or driving 88 miles-per-hour (though that would certainly get you there quicker, probably even faster if you did it in a late model Camaro), it just took a short trip down Colfax and knowing which street corner to stop at.

The Zephyr Lounge is located at 11940 E. Colfax in Aurora. If you see the blue lights and purple velvet drapes, you’ll know you’re there.