By Andi Ponkey, our resident Dog Lover.
When trying to write an article about my favorite bar, not just in Houghton, but in the world, I did a little research into its background. Sadly, what I found were mixed reviews of the awesome and terrible times at my most cherished drinking establishment. I was shocked to think that someone out there had such an abhorrent experience that they would dare slander my most sacred of alcoholic altars. So it falls to me to tell the whole truth, and that is that this is a truly wondrous bar!
The Douglas House Saloon, or more affectionately nicknamed “The Dog House” was built…a very long time ago. That is the end to the history lesson.
When you enter the Dog the staggering smell of 100 year old popcorn overwhelms anything else you might have smelled coming in. The next thing you might notice is the historical atmosphere, from the paintings on the ceiling to the darkly carved bar and green glass lanterns. You will find that it has some real character. Two of my favorite scenic points within the bar are dead center above the front windows – a nude painting of a woman longingly wishing to come down and drink, and the shelf full of tassels above the bar signifying the Century Club, or rather, a shelf full of tassels of those who took over 10 years to graduate from Michigan Tech.
The character aside, this bar is also amazing for its bartenders. Despite some rather scathing reviews, the Dog’s bartenders actually do care what you order and are extremely snappy about it, especially if you tip well, or are just good company. Do not go into this bar expecting to get a Mai Tai. This college bar doesn’t do fancy drinks. The Dog is a place to partake in a tall pint of draft or a fish bowl of good booze.
I always pick the corner table if I can help it. It’s a location I covet because it fits the large group of fraternity brothers that usually join the melee by getting drunk with me. We order our drafts and eat our pickled eggs (which, as a side note, make for some interesting morning after effects when taken with dark beer) and dream of simpler days when all we had to worry about was which bar we were going to drink at next.
The jukebox starts going, playing none of the crappy music of the 00’s but a better mix of 60’s and 70’s rock. We sway and sing out loud as “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones comes on, and we all pray silently that “American Pie” won’t be next, as we would be persuaded to drink many more beers. I play the popcorn game by throwing it into the air and happily missing almost every time I try to catch it in my mouth. I consider this adding to the floor decorum.
When I return, it’s like I never left, even thought the time in between seems to grown longer. I miss you Dog House, place of my favorite college memories and dreams. I will happily partake in your charms soon. Have a tall draft and a pickled egg lined up for me and I will gladly make some new memories.