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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Give me some more ‘Shelter’

    Every Wednesday, the Arts & Life staff brings you suggestions on how to spend your valuable free time during the weekend.

    Hard to believe we’re almost a month into the semester, but that’s all the more reason to party hard this weekend and blow off steam like a cargo freighter. Forget the movie, forget the dinner, and hit up one of the swankiest bars in Tucson for a night that’ll make you forget the hard week. The Shelter Cocktail Lounge, located on Grant Road and Columbus Boulevard, boasts Cold War-era décor, great deals on drinks and some of the friendliest bartenders around.

    It’s the lounge’s 50th year for a reason.

    The sign outside the bar advertises a “go-go boot-wearing, martini drinking, swanky, groovy lounge” — which is a pretty accurate description. The loud noise levels and ridiculously relaxed atmosphere bring nearly every hipster straight to orgasm upon entry. Don’t fret, though. It’s a varied crowd and there’s something for pretty much everyone.

    Urban legend places The Shelter as a real bomb shelter in the 1980s, and the interesting music choices and wall-to-wall Cold War-esque decorations really drive home the point with absurd amounts of velvet and red lights. Before you know it, you’ll be downing cocktails and martinis like bombs are falling.

    Old-school cocktail lounges like this are a dying breed and the cheap price of admission justifies the trip. Happy hour is from 3-8 p.m. every day of the week, with five cocktails, four beers and three shots on special. If drinking heavily isn’t your style, The Shelter offers a four-player pingpong table and classic pinball and video games. In short, bring lots of change.

    The Shelter also hosts theme nights several times each week, so dancing fiends and lovers of all things tacky won’t feel left out.

    The Shelter makes for such a good weekend destination we don’t feel bad in recommending it without a supplemental activity. If you like to rock it like JFK, hang out in darkened corners and have some biting cocktails, this Tucson-chic bar won’t disappoint. When you finally emerge from The Shelter, it will have done its job: You’ll feel more alive than ever.

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