Every time I talk to someone new to Casper, they always want to know what the hot club in town is. After I explain to them that we don't have clubs - just big bars - they proceed to tell me how they feel about our "hick-town". Instead of feeling slighted, I feel sorry for them. They're used to being just another person in the crowd instead of being a valued customer.

Here in Casper, we have 3 basic tiers of bars. Below, each I've listed each type, and my thoughts on them -

1.) The local dive bar

Think of places like the Back Door Lounge, Moonlight, Bayou, etc.

The Good -

These places are perfect for when you're looking for a place to wet your whistle, have a great conversation, and just relax. Odds are, the bartender knows your name, and drinks tend to be cheaper than most other places. Fights are rare, and when they happen, they tend to be over quickly.

The Bad -

Sometimes, when it's a busy night, it may take a while to get your drink. If you make the bartender/waitress mad, you may not get the best service ever. Also, it's easy for someone to take over the jukebox, which means you could be in for a solid hour or two of crappy music.

2.) The sports bar/restaurant

Think Old Chicago, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc.

The Good -

The food, for the most part, is usually outstanding. If there's a sports match-up you want to see, they'll have it on. Fights are almost non-existent. The atmosphere is very friendly, and usually service is pretty good. Corporate standards can be a good thing...

The Bad -

Drinks and food tend to be a little pricier. During a big event, you may have quite a wait before you'll be seated, and there are too many kids running around to really let you feel like you can relax. They also tend to want you out of the door faster so they can sell more booze/food to more people. Corporate standards can be a bad thing...

3.) The destination bar.

The Wonder Bar, Galloway's, Beacon, etc.

The Good -

These places tend to host live music and/or some other event just to get you in the door. They almost always tend to have some sort of drink special, and usually serve a wider variety of booze. The atmosphere is very consumer friendly, and they separate minors from adults. These are also the places to let loose and have a great time.

The Bad -

While they do have drink specials, the rest of their menu is usually pretty pricey. On a busy night, you'll have a heck-of-a-time getting a drink. You become just some person in the way of the staff, and the staff is usually pretty overworked...so it's not uncommon to get a server who isn't in a good mood. Sometimes, there's cover charges...I've never understood why I should have to pay just to drink in a bar. These are also the places you'll most likely see the big fights. And, of course, trying to have a conversation is pretty futile.

Each one has it's own positives and negatives, but all three offer something that should please you...depending on your mood. So next time someone from out of town complains about our night life, either take them out and show them what Casper has to offer, or tell them to hit the road  - which means more drinks for the rest of us!