What do you do when you’re on your own and have no company to enjoy happy hour? This is what I did.

It was Friday afternoon and I was coming out from having coffee with a friend by the Telus Tower. I had a few hours to kill so my options were another coffee, eating again, getting inside another shop… which were all activities to do alone. Boring to death! I mean, I was on vacation and normally I’m on vacation alone wherever I go around the world. I wasn’t in the mood for that.

Drinking starting at 3.30pm!!!
Since I’m also a coolhunter, I started taking photos of things catching my attention. One of those things was that, unlike back home, happy hour in Calgary starts at 3.30-4pm (back home is 7-10pm, but hey, we leave work at 6-6.30pm, yes, even on Fridays) 

I hadn’t had any cocktail so far so this presented itself as a great opportunity to do so. Sure, I was a bit skittish about going to a bar alone (we don’t do that, it’s lame, you look like a loser) but since nobody knows who I am, I was dressed sporty cool and I definitely don’t look like I’m from the city, I said what the heck and decided on where to go.

I landed on Earls on Stephen Ave because of the following reasons:

1)       I had gone to an Earls in Medicine Hat back in 2005, got my first Mai Tai ever, and got hooked on cocktails (I look for the best Mai Tais around the world ever since) 
Lunch with a blanket at Earls!! Don't feel left out!!
2)       Earlier that day I had seen they give you blankets if you’re in the patio and it’s cold, and I thought it was cute 
3)       There was no beer special that day
4)       It looked dark inside and I thought it was “loungey” for 4pm (liked that feature)
5)       Back in 2005 their cocktail list was quite interesting

Inside I docked myself by the bar. The tables seemed to be intimidating for someone who was there just for a drink. At the bar I could at least strike a conversation with the bartender.

Well, it was nothing like the Earls I remembered. This was more of a sports bar. On the good side it was FULL of guys in packs. On the bad side, they started looking at me as prey (which is NOT at all bad if you’re single and looking, but that’s not my situation). Plus the bartender was on the other side of the round bar.

The cocktail list was quite lame. Classic drinks (Bellini, Margarita and Martini anyone?), boring mixes, very short list. Where was my Mai Tai from 2005? For the record, caipirinhas or mojitos are NOT anywhere near exotic in my book. No vegetarian options for bar food either.

I ordered a signature drink, the Plan B (bombay sapphire gin, blueberry puree, fresh basil, house made simple syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice). You can say I’m a cocktails purist. Back home my temple is Doppleganger and it’s Master Priest is owner Guillermo, almost a cocktails scholar. That’s what I’m used to. Well… I knew I couldn’t expect much from a chain restaurant but the bartender prepared my drink as if he was pouring soda over tons of bricks of ice. Just a bit of TLC would have worked wonders. Should had ordered a Bailey’s… but I think they didn’t have any.

The Plan B - Should have stayed on Plan A
The drink was ok, but nothing to blow up my mind.

I avoided the predators by twitting, facebooking and whatsapping frantically, fortunately there is free wi-fi in there.

Again, if you’re looking for guys, all ages, that was a good place to go. There was no way for me to tell if they were available or not, that’s for you to find out and act accordingly. But by all means, if you see something you like, smile!! That works wonders and who knows, you might even land a date.

GLAM'S DATING TIP: Next Friday, grab a girlfriend (or even a female coworker, who cares) and drag yourself to happy hour. Even if you don’t drink, the idea is to strike conversations and flirt to raise your self esteem. Granted, your soulmate is probably NOT at a bar yet this exercise is excellent to raise your vibes so you can find him/her somewhere else.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Open atmosphere
Safe
Wi fi
A bartender to rescue you if someone gets too heavy
Tons of guys, almost no women

WTFs:
Lame cocktail list
Bartender who doesn’t give a damn while preparing the cocktail
No low calorie/vegetarian food options