Night Life in Dickinson, North Dakota

(This post was updated on 11/16/2016 in order to provide current information.)

Off the top of my head, there are about fifteen bars in Dickinson that I can think of.  Starting from the north and heading south, there is the Boars Nest, Players Club, whatever is in the Grand Dakota Lodge, the Astoria Hotel, Applebees, Red Coach Bar, Army’s, Mavericks, The Rock Bar, Bernie’s Esquire Club, Brickhouse Grille, Paragon Bowling Alley, The Spur, Liquid Assets, and the South Side Bar on Broadway.  You could also include the clubs such as the Elks, the Eagles, the St. Anthony Club, and the golf course. There is also a small bar in the Don Pedros  restaurant and the El Sombrero restaurant.

When I first started going to the El Sombrero restaurant in 2011, the food and the service was good.  There was often a long line of people at the door waiting for a table, which I bypassed by going and sitting at the bar.  The owner and his wife both worked at the restaurant.  Beginning in 2013, a friend of mine began telling me that the owner and the servers would not wait on him.  I then experienced this myself when I went and sat at the bar, they would not wait on me.  A couple of nice girls from DSU, the Pastor of the Church I went to, some men construction workers, a young waitress and her parents, all told me that the owner and the servers would not wait on them, because they did not order enough alcohol drinks and spend enough money.  I am angry and disgusted at the arrogance that this Mexican immigrant and his family developed because they had an over abundance of customers during the oil boom.  I highly recommend boycotting this restaurant.  Maybe plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and mechanics should not perform any work for the owner because he doesn’t spend enough money, then it might dawn on the owner that he shouldn’t not serve customers.

Don Pedros Mexican restaurant has always had very good food, and very quick, professional, attentive service.  Every time that I have eaten there, I have had to get a to-go box because there was so much food, and the food was too good to leave any behind.

In approximately 2013, the Players Club opened.  The building is new, and the restaurant and bar are nicely furnished.  The bar does not tolerate overly rowdy or drunken behavior at all, and I personally know two professional people who have been asked to leave for becoming too loud and obnoxious.  If your wife or girlfriend does not want to go to a dive, she would probably like going to the Players Club.  If you do not have a girl friend, and you do not want a sleazy girl friend, one of your better chances of meeting a moderate woman in a bar in Dickinson would be Players Club right after work at 5:30 p.m. to maybe 7:00 p.m., but keep in mind that there are way more men in Dickinson than women.  My only complaint about the Players Club in the first year after it opened, was that the staff was not very friendly.  I tried to speak to different bar tenders and servers, and all of them with the exception of one, was unfriendly.  I did not go back to the Players Club any more after this because the staff was unfriendly.

The Kathy Fisher family that owns and manages the Rock Bar are sensible, agreeable, friendly people.  The Rock Bar has both men and women bartenders, who are normal adults, not dumb ass kids with a bad attitude.  There are a wide range of people that go to this bar, young and old, professional, construction workers, oil field workers, local, and out of town people.  I would say that this is a good bar.  Because this is a small, friendly, family run, downtown bar, it is easy to socialize with other normal adults.

Bernie’s Esquire Club is owned and managed by the Bernie Marsh family.  Bernie, his wife, his sons and daughters work at this bar.  Back in 2011, they wanted to know who their customers were and where they worked, to determine whether you were O.K. or not, whether you would be a problem.  Older local people warned me not to go to this bar back in 2011, mostly because of the biker gang that congregated there.  As 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 came and went, it seemed like the Marsh family and the biker gang got more and more used to out of town people, and cared less and less.  Many local people that are regular customers have a good time at this bar.  I will warn out of town people to try to not get into any conflict with anyone at this bar.

The Brickhouse Grille in downtown Dickinson is the only fine dining restaurant in Dickinson.  The staff are more formal, alert, and responsive.  There is a small bar on the ground floor adjacent to the dining room, and a larger bar and lounge on the second floor.  There is a dress code for customers.  Most patrons choose to exceed the minimum dress requirements out of respect to the restaurant, the owner, the other customers, and to not feel out of place.  No hoodies, no ball caps, no sleeveless shirts, no worn jeans, no work clothes, no worn torn ratty clothing.

The Paragon Bowling Alley, a.k.a Champs Sports Bar.  The owner is John Mueller, he is about 57 years old.  His father started the business.  His mother, Bernice, who is in her 80s still works there.  I like John and Bernice, but due to the shortage of bar and restaurant workers in Dickinson, they have in the past hired staff that was so sleazy and trashy that I would not return for six months I was so repulsed.  In 2011, on a Friday or Saturday night, there were typically two hundred people in the place.  At that time, they had some very good bartenders who everyone liked, they were smart, funny, attractive, and entertaining.  In 2013 on a Friday or Saturday night, there might have been forty people in the place.  Bowling league nights are busy.

The Spur is liked by some people.  To me, it is kind of bland and plain.  You will have to see for yourself.  The South Side Bar on Broadway seems like it is mostly liked by construction workers, you will have to see for yourself.  Liquid Assets is commonly believed in Dickinson to have more “upscale” customers, to me, it was bland and uninteresting.  I could see that Liquid Assets might have some women that are available to mate if you get there right after work between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

In Dickinson, both the Elks Lodge bar and the Eagles Lodge bar are open to non-members.  I have only been to the Elks Lodge bar a couple of times, it had a clean and pleasant atmosphere, and probably has more professional and business people.  The Eagles Lodge bar has more blue-collar local people.  When the Eagles Lodge has a wedding reception, the wedding guest women are in a good mood and mingle at the bar.

As I explained in a previous post, night life in Dickinson has been extremely diminished, due to the way the police arrest people for DUI.  If you have been drinking, even if it was only two beers, you will likely be arrested for DUI and taken to jail.  At the jail your blood alcohol level will be tested.  You will post bail.  You will have a court date set.  You will be forced to pay $3,000 up front to an attorney.  If your BAC was below .08, you might be found not guilty.

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