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Local art on the walls and a distinctive menu might throw you off, but the plastic deck chairs and beer pong tables give Bamboo Lounge away as a college hangout.
That, and the dollar Kamikaze shots every time Sue Johanson from “Talk Sex” says the word “squirt” on one of several plasma screens around the outdoor bar.
The Bamboo Lounge, whose grand opening was on Aug. 4, is getting comfortable in the former space of La Iguana, a symbol of the former Hill area.
“What I liked about La Iguana was it was a fun place to go,” said Lounge owner Jonathon Broadhurst.
Broadhurst is also an owner of another Boulder staple, the Pearl Street Pub. For Broadhurst’s first independent business venture, however, he looked to the Hill.
The location at 1301 Broadway has some different demands than the crowds on Pearl Street, Broadhurst said.
“Trying to find what people up here want is something I’m still exploring,” he said, “I’m determined to find it.”
What Broadhurst found was a misconception that The Bamboo Lounge is only for those over 21. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the food and atmosphere, but only 21-year-olds can drink, he said.
“We’ll have a good time and dance on the bar,” he said. “You just gotta be 21.”
The Bamboo Lounge may already be forming a La Iguana-like following.
“I’m like the biggest regular ever. We sprint down here at 1 a.m. for last call,” said non-degree undergraduate Landry Clark.
With nightly drink specials like Tequila Tuesday, cocktails with names like The Dirty Pickle and Gombay Smash and the La Iguana staple of buckets of beer, Clark and sophomore business major Jake Rome said they see a positive future for The Lounge.
“I think that business will pick up as the school year goes on,” said Rome.
For others, it’s the use of outdoor space that’s always made the location popular.
“I like the fact that you can do things like play beer pong,” said recent CU climatology graduate Kye Colby.
Soon the budding Boulder business may see more local events, like film screenings and live music.
“I would love to include the CU art department to do some fun different things,” he said.
Every Thursday night, The Bamboo Lounge features live reggae music. At 10:30 p.m. on Fridays, a DJ starts to spin.
Broadhurst is still figuring out ways to carve The Bamboo Lounge’s niche on the Hill.
“I’m open to ideas,” he said.