Guide to Night Life on Pearl

Category: Boulder Blog

The Go-To places on Pearl:



I've learned one thing, and that's to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don't have. Drink 'til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does... ― Tom Petty

Alright so let's not take that too literally - I'm DEFINITELY not telling you to skip class or fail out of school. All I'm trying to say is once you turn 21, the nightlife scene is in the palm of your hand, so take advantage. One thing you'll learn about this college town is that Downtown Boulder isn't just a fun place to shop and get dinner, you can now have a drink or two with friends and enjoy some of the most unforgettable (or forgettable) nights of your life. Take it from a second semester senior, LIVE IT UP, because soon you’ll have to be all professional and stuff like wear nice clothes, use big words, and condense your entire life into a one page paper.

For all of you newly 21-year-olds, I want to give you the low down on the best places on Pearl. The work never ends, but college does, so cheers to making the most of your week with these awesome bars and drink specials for any day of the week.


I'm going to lump Monday and Tuesday together because I see these days as more of a chance to take advantage of some of the best happy hours. What’s better than getting a discounted drink & appetizer after a long day of work or class?  Nothing, that’s what.

  • Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar -  Monday-Saturday 2:30 - 5:30pm,Thursday-Saturday 10 pm-Midnight | Food: $7 for 2 beginner rolls & 1/2 price Hapa starters and traditional starters | Drinks: $2.50 Hapa Beer. $3 Hot Sake and Fresh Fruit Infused Sake. $3.50 Sake Cocktails and Well Drinks. $5 House Wine. $6 Sake Bombs.
    • My Choice: the Spicy Tuna Nachos or the 2 for $7 rolls, plus the Hapa Punch cocktail
  • Illegal Pete’s -  Daily 3 - 8pm | Food: Free chips and salsa with purchase from bar | Drinks: $4 Margs, $2.50 Coors Light and Coors Drafts, $2.50 Wells, $3.50 Select Craft Drafts,$3.00 Wells
    • My Choice: funnest happy hour with friends, hands down. Ask for a “lunch box” and don't forget the chips and salsa. Also ask them to make you a surprise shot because last time that I did, they made me a shot that they set on fire and tasted like thin mints
  • Press Play - Daily 4 - 7pm | Food: $6 cheese pizza, $8 2-topping pizza | Drinks: $3 Well/wine and Beers, $3.50 Imported Beers
    • My Choice: Get a pitcher of beer and hog the skeeball machine all night
  • Sushi Zanmai - 5 -6:30 p.m. Daily & all night Sunday | Food: $1.75 sushi pieces | Drinks: Discounted Sake and Kirin Beer.
    • My Choice: get a big group together and go! It’s super fun to split different rolls and do sake bombs together. (a.k.a, This is the place you see everyone wearing the cool headbands)
  • Jax Fish House - Daily 4pm - 6pm | Food: $1.25 Oysters, $5-$7 Small Plates | Drinks: $4-$6 Cocktails, $5 House Wine, $2.25 Oyster Shooters, $1 off ALL Draft Beers, $6 Jax Mule.
    • My Choice: the strawberry lemonade cocktail or the Mule, plus the Peel N’ Eat Shrimp
  • The Mediterranean a.k.a. The Med - Daily 3 - 6:30 pm | Food: 1/2 price tapas, $4 margherita pizzas | Drinks: $1 off Draft Beers, $4.50 Sangria, $4 Well Cocktails and House Wine, $6 House Margarita or Well Martini
    • My Choice:  The white sangria and calamari tapa

Want to see more? Check out our list of all the places that offer happy hour specials and their websites on the Downtown Boulder Happy Hour listings page 




“Uh oh, guess what day it is. Huh? Anybody? Aw c’mon I know you can hear me. Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, what day is it Mike? HUMP DAY! And for the record, my absolute favorite night of the week, TGIW, am I right?  

To start the night off right begin with Game Night at Press Play  (tournaments in Pinball and SkeeBall). OR Trivia Night at the Lazy Dog (a random knowledge drinking game that starts at 10 but get there at 9:30). End the night at Biergarten drinking a boot of your favorite beer and embarrassing yourself up on stage for Karaoke night singing Nickelback for the umpteeth time.  


Thursday, the first official day of the college weekend. It’s only right to start off at The Rio for College Night from 9 - Midnight accompanied by $4 classic margaritas. From there you have to hit up The Boulder House (back in my day we used to call it Absinthe) because it’s Ladies Night until 12 am, yes ladies, you drink free, but don't forget to tip your bartenders! The dance floor is fun but when the weather gets warm and the rooftop bar opens, you can find me there until last call.


Ahh, fishbowl Fridays at the Walrus, you definitely can't beat it so you’ll just have to join it for the fun. Round up 3 of your friends and split one of these cocktails because soon after you’ll be heading one of two directions; either to the front to play pool or skeeball, or to the back where you should have 9-1-1 on speed dial because you’re about set fire to the dance floor.


Wipe your tears, we know this is the last “going-out” night of the weekend but that just means you have to live it up in style. While there are no special events on this night (that I am aware of), the two bars I always get torn between are The Downer and The Walrus. Either way, you really can't go wrong.


Take a break ya animal. Rest now so you can rinse & repeat this process next week.


Well, there you have it you youngsters, but no-so-youngsters. Downtown Boulder’s night scene is definitely in a league of its own. So congratulations, welcome to one of the most elite clubs in America, the 21+ club, it's a lifetime membership kinda thing once you’re in if you catch my drift. Pearl Street offers the best of the best in this town. So please, take advantage of it while you can because very soon your parents will be dragging you across that stage by the diploma telling you you need “to be an adult” and “contribute to society”. Adult-ing is hard, don't do it, STAY 21 FOREVER, and take advantage of your 21+ college nights while you still are able to. And as my boss is reminding me to say, drink responsibly and remember to never drink and drive. Cheesy I know, but for real, lets remember to be smart.

Until next time,

Tagged:   Bars

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