To celebrate Halloween, a group of friends and I decided to go on a pub crawl in the Virginia Highlands to get the most out of our Halloween partying. In the end, we decided this might not be the way to go next Halloween.
Halloween in the Highlands
Tickets for this pub crawl were $25. Registration said that it was across the street from Dark Horse Tavern, but in reality it was down the street a little, far enough that it wasn’t obvious that it was there and we had to ask the bouncer. At registration we were given maps and wrist bands with removable tabs numbered 1-5 to be exchanged at venues for their different drink specials.
We started off at J&J’s Bourbon Bar. The drink special here was a complimentary jello shot that didn’t seem to have any alcohol in it. This was a good place for dancing, and we made our way back here for that later in the night, but their bathroom situation was awful: one bathroom for guys and one for girls and no way to make a line meaning there were people dancing right in front of the bathroom and it was a frustrating free-for all so you were never sure when it would be your turn.
Our second stop was Hand In Hand where the drink special was another complimentary shot. This one was much better than the previous jello shot. There was also the opportunity to sit down as this is an actual pub, you just had to score a table, which we did. Kevin and I shared a Blue Motherfucker and relaxed for a bit admiring the costumes and chatting with friends.
The next stop for us was Diesel where there was a 3-2-1 special. Most of our party opted for the $1 shot. This was a small place and the specials table was set up on the back patio, which was right in the way of a ton of football fans trying to watch the Auburn game who yelled at everyone as they passed. As an Auburn fan, I understand needing to keep an eye on the team so they don’t lose their 20+ point lead, but they might want to consider a bar that’s not part of a giant Halloween pub crawl next time.
We then had to walk a few blocks to our next destinations, which is fine earlier in the night before shoes start hurting and before some people start getting too drunk to walk. But it gets harder as the night goes on, so venturing out this far would have been better done if we were planning on staying that way instead of all the back-and-forth we did.
Highland Tap had another 3-2-1 special, or at least that’s what the event map claimed. But when we got there, the bartenders said they hadn’t been informed they were a part of the pub crawl and that they were not serving specials. Kevin and I shared another Blue Motherfucker and then our party made it’s way next door.
Next door was Fontaine’s Oyster Bar where they had $3 shots and $2 drafts. The bar service here was really slow. They only had two bartenders for the Halloween crowd. We did finally get our drinks though. We left a little while after that, but we made our way back by the end of the night to take advantage of their plentiful outdoor seating and for some of our group to go a little crazy with the shots.
In the end, we decided this would be more worth while to come to without having bought a ticket. The ticket price said it included entry into each bar, but none of the bars were asking cover charges. You could come and get into every bar just as easily without a ticket and just buy whatever you wanted instead of trying to fit the drink specials into your decisions. Then you can still get in on the Halloween party and be much happier with what you’re drinking.
How did you spend your Halloween? Let me know in the comments!