I just got back from the new it-bar in my little downtown suburb. Blackfinn Saloon just opened in Royal Oak a week or so ago. My friend and I were trying to decide something to do tonight, and her other friend was heading there, so we sashayed on down to check it out.
Five minutes in, I learned that I’m A.) Too old for this barstar nonsense and B.) Officially a Detroiter…at least when it comes to my taste in bars. I do love living in downtown Royal Oak, but it’s definitely not because of the bar scene.
Blackfinn is a nice sports bar turned meat market when it’s not game day. Dark wood, flat screens, all quite posh. The usual is on tap, from Miller Lite to Guiness, definitely making it a bar that’s just trying to please everyone. It definitely lacked seating…and air conditioning…which was a major downfall on a hot Saturday night. Instead, we were crammed amongst other sweaty bodies, perpetually in the way and having to make room for others forcing their way through the crowd. As we made a loop around the room, the men standing on the outskirts sized us up and I could just see what they were thinking: “is she a suitable candidate for me to take home tonight?” I looked one way and saw a girl doing a body shot, and looked the other way to see a guy doing a headstand to impress some girls. (Seriously…a headstand?!?!) I haven’t been in a meat market like this in quite some time.
Then there was the attire. I was wearing jeans, a cotton t-shirt, and flip flops. This is my usual Detroit bar attire, but here I felt very underdressed. The girls had on their maxi dresses and cutsey sequined tanks. The boys had their popped collars. In fact, one of the girls we were with who was also wearing a nice T-shirt said that the bouncer told her T-shirts would be no longer be allowable attire in a week. Obviously, not my kind of place.
I have to confess, I don’t go out much in Royal Oak. I’m not a big fan of the bar, and when I do go out it’s with DD and his friends in the D. And in the D, I can wear what I want, usually find a seat, and feel like I at least have some amount of personal space. The guys may size you up, but usually they hide the smarmy-ness. The bars may be loud, but there’s a few that I can find a quiet corner to steal away to for a conversation.
All in all, bars in the D are just more laid back. And I’m learning that’s become my style. Sure, back in the day I loved getting all dressed up and going out. When I was 21 and it was a new idea. Hell, even by that point I was hanging out in the East Lansing dives instead of the clubs. Now, I’m nearly 27 and while that’s still young, I feel like my tastes are beyond old. I go to bars like Blackfinn and just end up complaining. Complaining about the fact that I have to stand, the fact that I can’t hear my friend or have a normal conversation, the fact that people are pushing past me, spilling beer on me and stepping on my feet in the process (which already hurt).
I thought maybe it was just me, that for a single woman, this would be the place to be. There were a ton of guys I considered attractive, and most looked single. But when I made that observation to my single friend, she replied that she didn’t think it was much of a single haven either. I still think it could be the place to find that one-night stand, but you’re not going to strike up any sort of meaningful conversation with someone new.
The one plus to the place was the music. Loud as hell (there I go being old again…), but good 80s tunes mixed with current hits. It reminded me a bit of Delux in that respect. Good music, plus Delux can get a bit cramped and smarmy. But at least Delux has a dance floor to break out some moves to the awesome music. Blackfinn did not offer that option. They did however show the music videos on the TVs and that was kinda fun.
Not fun enough to return for anytime soon, though.